Sunday 18 August 2019

Ward frustrated after failing Chemistry test


Joe Ward, of Ireland. Pic: Sportsfile
Joe Ward, of Ireland. Pic: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

EUROPEAN Elite champion Joe Ward crashed out of the Chemistry World Cup after a shock defeat in Cologne, Germany last night.

The Westmeath southpaw (pictured) was controversially adjudged to have been beaten by German lightheavy Abu Lubdeh Abdulrahman on a split decision.

Ward, who landed the majority of cleaner punches, wasn't too happy with the call and neither were the Irish corner of head coach Zaur Antia and John Conlan.

Ward said: "I thought I performed really well. Overall, I was in control of the fight. I won every round. I won the fight, anyone can see, but I just didn't get the decision."

German coach Eddie Bolger, a former Irish trainer who worked closely with Ward when he was with Ireland, did not work Abdulrahman's corner last night.

The Wexford native declined to comment except to say it was a very technical fight. Meanwhile, Tony Browne beat Aussie heavyweight Brandon Rees on a unanimous decision. The Dubliner will now meet Russia's Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, who Ward has beaten in the past, in today's 91kg decider.

Earlier yesterday, Antrim pair Carly McNaul and Michaela Walsh upgraded their guaranteed bronze medals to at least silver at the World Cup.

McNaul saw off highly-rated Indian flyweight Pinki Raini on a split decision after a slugfest and Walsh followed that with a unanimous verdict win over Romanian feather Lenuta Lacramioara.

McNaul, who has won three fights in three days so far, is back in action for gold against Armenia's Anush Grigoryan today and two-time Commonwealth finalist Walsh meets India's Sa Sakshi for the 57kg title.

Both women are the first Irish female boxers to medal at the Chemistry Cup, which has since been rebranded as the World Cup and moved from Halle to Cologne for the 45th edition of the tournament.

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