Monday 18 December 2017

Conroy stands tall to advance

BOXING

IRELAND'S boxers experienced mixed fortunes on Day One of the 57-nation AIBA World Junior Championships in Kiev.

Sean Conroy of Ballyhaunis BC advanced, but Martin Collins (St Anne's BC) dropped a split decision to Turkish bantamweight Ahmet Micik.

Conroy dominated his middleweight three-rounder with Marian Iou, the Romanian taking two standing counts off big rights in the second.

James Cleary, Lewis Crocker and Kevin Kehoe will be in action today.

Meanwhile, Ricky Burns may never box again after fighting with a broken jaw for more than 10 rounds of his controversial world title defence against Raymundo Beltran, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

The 30-year-old had titanium plates inserted in his jaw after retaining the WBO lightweight title following the draw with the impressive Mexican in Glasgow and Hearn later cast doubt on his future.

Hearn said: "Everyone's talking about his next move. I can't even guarantee he'll box again."

Dubliner Simon McKinley, already crowned as the National Hillclimb and Sprint champion, kept his unbeaten record for the year by adding victories in the final two rounds at Knockalla, giving him nine wins from the nine events he contested.

His nearest rival in Saturday's wet conditions was Galway man Joe Courtney, while Rory Stephens took runner-up position yesterday to claim second place in the final points table.

In Cork, Tyrone driver Steven Ferguson opened the new Autotest season with a pair of wins as he bids to take his fourth Hewison title in a row. Robin Lyons finished second on the opening day, with veteran ten-times champion Eamonn Byrne runner-up yesterday.

Denis Lynch collected €50,000 when finishing fourth with All Star in the Grand Prix at the new 5-Star fixture in Donetsk.

The Irishman was also fifth with Coulisa in the 1.50m Jump-off.

The Irish team of Shane Breen, Shane Sweetnam, Conor Swail (Lansdowne) and Billy Twomey finished sixth in the BMO Nations Cup in Calgary on Saturday. But yesterday their run of form returned with second place for Breen and Touch of Chilli in the Speed event.

Earlier at the Canadian fixture, Swail clinched the top two places in the $50,000 ATCO Cup from a class of 41 entries. Dermott Lennon rounded off an Irish hat-trick here when third with Hallmark Elite in 37.13 seconds. Swail and Martha Louise also finished third in the Akita Cup won by America's Kent Farrington and Blue Angel.

Jessica Kuerten recorded a win with Contadoor at Humlikon, Switzerland, while at home Waterford rider Tholm Keane clinched the TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix title with a win at Barnadown in Wexford.

Irish Independent

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