Tuesday 12 December 2017

In brief: Lee eyes latest world title step


Irish middleweight Andy Lee will edge a step closer towards a world title shot if he racks up his 11th straight victory in Chicago tonight.

The Limerick southpaw headlines the Hitz Entertainment promotion against Memphis-based middleweight Alex Bunema at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Meanwhile, Mayo's Henry 'Western Warrior' Coyle will be in action on this evening's card against New York puncher Vance Garvey.

Chicago-based Coyle, who claimed an Irish Elite title boxing out of the Geesala BC, has won 14 of his 16 outings ahead of tonight's clash with the Bronx-born light-middleweight.


Irish riders Sam Bennett, Mark Cassidy and Ronan McLaughlin have all been named in the An Post Sean Kelly line-up to ride the An Post Ras this weekend.

Liverpudlian Mark McNally and Lithuanian Gediminas Bagdonas have been selected ahead of the only other Irish rider in the squad, Dubliner Philip Lavery, for the eight-day race.

Lavery has been struggling with illness and injury recently and although he has recently made a comeback, he was not considered fit enough for this year's Ras.

After a short break from racing, the An Post squad are in fine form heading into their home tour.

A win by former Belgian champion Niko Eeckhout at the Houthalen-Helchteren one-day race in Belgium on Saturday was followed up by a victory for Bagdonas at the Verrebroek-Beveren race on Sunday.

Eeckhout, a former stage winner at the Ras, will lead the An Post team at the Tour of Belgium.


Conor Niland failed to arrest his slump in form when he crashed out in the first round of qualifying for the French Open in Paris yesterday.

The Limerick native lost to Turkey's Marsel Ilhan 7-6 (8/6) 6-3.

Sam Barry yesterday clinched a second-round place in the ITF Futures event in Samsun, Turkey. The 925-ranked Limerick man saw off the challenge of fellow 19-year-old Gaetan de Lovinfosse, ranked 973, 6-2 6-4.

No 8 seed Barry took the initiative from an early stage, taking the first set in less than 30 minutes. De Lovinfosse put up more spirited resistance in the second set, but two breaks to one helped the Irish player to close out the match and seal a clash against Italian qualifier Alessandro Petrone.

Irish Independent

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