Sunday 17 December 2017

In brief: Ward storms into last 16

Boxing

WORLD Junior champion Joe Ward will meet Cuban 'KO' artist Frankie Sanchez in the last 16 of the AIBA World Youth Championships after cruising past Albanian Bekim Vjerdha in Baku, Azerbaijan, yesterday.

Ward, from the Moate club in Westmeath, was 18-1 ahead in the second round when the ref stopped the middleweight contest.

Ryston club-man Chris Phelan, meanwhile, chalked up an impressive 5-1 flyweight verdict over Arios Aguero of the Dominican Republic and meets Shaban Shahpalangov of Azerbaijan in the last 32 today.

Navan welterweight Chris Blaney won a 6-1 decision over Mina Rojas of Ecuador and will face Dongjin Lee of Korea for a place in the quarter-finals. Kieran Forde, however, who was 3-2 up late in the third and final round, was edged out on a count-back after a 3-3 tie with Georgian light welter Zura Mekerishvili.

Ward's last 16 rival, Sanchez, knocked out Boldkhuyag Gunbazar of Mongolia in the first round yesterday.

Golf

Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, promised yesterday that the British Open would not be turned into a "police state" by the visit of Tiger Woods.

Spectators will not be chucked off St Andrews at the first heckle in July, but they will get a chance to think of more polite ways to express an opinion about the world No1.

Dawson said: "We're not a police state. People can say what they like. But if they start putting people off then we'll have something to say about it. If they don't stop then eventually they are asked to leave."

Woods plays in a US Tour event at Quail Hollow tomorrow, and the R & A will be watching closely how the Americans react to Woods in South Carolina.

Swimmimg

BARRY Murphy has turned to the man who helped fellow Irishman Andrew Bree move to a new level as he looks to make a major impact at this summer's European championships in Budapest.

Breaststroke and freestyle Murphy, who made the semi-finals of the World Championships last year, will compete at the Irish long course championships in the National Aquatic Centre, which start tomorrow.

The Dubliner has hooked up with Jim Rumbaugh, who was credited with driving Bree to a three-second PB and just a whisker away from making the 200m breaststroke final at the Beijing Olympics.

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