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In brief: Fitzgerald not losing focus

DUBLIN'S Anthony Fitzgerald has insisted that he won't lose focus despite a late change of opponent for next weekend's Irish super-middleweight clash at Dublin's National Stadium.

Fitzgerald was due to meet Lee Murtagh, but the Leeds-based Irishman withdrew from the duel with Fitzgerald for the second time in as many months because of injury and has been replaced by former Irish champ Ciaran Healy instead.

Meanwhile, the country's amateur boxers have maintained their high positions in the first AIBA Official World rankings published for 2010 yesterday. Olympic medalists Ken Egan and Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin and John Joe Joyce are all ranked in the top 10. Egan, the highest-ranked of all the Irish boxers, is at number four at light-heavy, while light-flyweight Barnes is at nine. Joyce and Nevin are at six and seven in the light-welter and bantam categories.

IRELAND'S James Cluskey and American Micheal Venus yesterday held their nerve in a marathon 30-point champions' tie-break to clinch a second-round doubles place in the ITF Men's Futures event in Eilat, Israel, WRITES Paddy Hickey.

After losing the first set, Cluskey and Venus battled back to level their contest against the No 3 seeds, Russian pair Mikhail Fufygin and Vitali Reshetnikov. Then, in the champions' tie-break, unseeded Cluskey and Venus sealed a 4-6 6-3 16-14 victory.

However, there was disappointment for James McGee at the ITF Futures event in Bressuire, France. The Davis Cup player and Macedonia's Daniel Danilovic bowed out 2-6 6-7 (2/7) to French pair Baptiste Bayet and Simon Cauvard in the first round of the doubles.

A stylish Republic of Ireland U-17 outfit enjoyed a productive evening at Tolka Park as they claimed a 2-0 friendly success over Hungary.

Goals either side of the break from the impressive Frankie Sutherland and Daniel Purdy were enough to give Sean McCaffrey's promising team victory.

West Ham United's Purdy also had a penalty saved midway through the first half.

Republic of Ireland -- McDermott; Barker (Yadolahi, 41), Bryan, McGinty, McHugh; Sutherland, Byrne, Rodgers (Webb, 65); Purdy (Smith, 68), Murphy, Smith (Knight, 41).

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Hungary -- Dombo; Poor, Toth, Tar, Fejes (Bodo, 75); Szolga (Foldes, 57), Paku (Papp, 41), Vecsei, Vass; Erdelyi (Banka, 51), Serfozo.

Ref -- N Doyle (Dublin).

  • Dale Steyn achieved match figures of 10-108 as South Africa beat India by an innings and six runs in the sides' first Test.

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