Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ward and Irvine handed first round byes at the World Championships

Joe Ward. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Joe Ward. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Triple European title holder and double world championship medallist Joe Ward, together with Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine, both received first round byes at the 2017 World Amateur Boxing Championships which begin on Friday in Hamburg.

Ward, who won a silver medal at the 2015 worlds in Doha, will meet the winner of a first round bout between a Georgian or Scottish boxer on Monday.

Seeded at number three, the Moate light heavyweight is on the opposite side of the draw to the three times world champion and Olympic champion, Julio La Cruz. The Cuban beat Ward in the gold medal bout in Doha.

Flyweight Brendan Irvine, who is seeded sixth, will also be in action on Monday when he faces the winner of a first round bout between a Korean and Kazakhstan boxer.

The other three Irish boxers – who are unseeded – had mixed fortunes in the draw which was held in Hamburg Town Hall.

Bantamweight Kurt Walker will be the first Irish boxer in the ring – he faces a tricky first round assignment on Friday afternoon against fifth seed Leonel De Los Santos from the Dominican Republic.

Belfast Sean McComb makes his debut at this level on Friday night against Brazilian light welterweight Joedison De Jesus,  but if he wins he then faces number two seed Andy Gomez Cruz from Cuba in a last 16 bout on Sunday evening.

Super heavyweight Dean Gardiner goes into the ring on Saturday – he faces a Korean opponent Do Hyeon Kim.

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