Wednesday 22 November 2017

Moylette digs deep to book spot in Worlds squad with late fightback


Bernard O'Neill

EUROPEAN light-welterweight champion Ray Moylette came from behind to claim the vacant place on the Irish team for the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan, with victory over Ross Hickey last night.

Hickey, from the Grangecon BC, was 4-3 and 9-6 up at the end of rounds one and two at Dublin's National Stadium.

But 2008 World Youth champion Moylette (St Anne's, Mayo) turned it around in spectacular style in the final round to seal a 15-13 win.

Hickey's cleaner punches caught the eye of the judges in the opening two frames as Moylette appeared to be struggling with his opponent's south-paw stance.

But Moylette's late, late surge was enough to seal the verdict and the 21-year-old thanked his fans for their support after the fight.

"There was a lot riding on it, that was the biggest fight of our careers so far. I'm not saying I proved anyone wrong, but I proved my fans and proved my supporters right.

Irish head coach Billy Walsh said: "It was a fantastic contest -- one of the best I've seen in the Stadium in a long, long time."

"The two lads are world-class athletes, but unfortunately there has to be a loser, and tonight it was Ross. Ross, to me, looked to be in a great position going into the last round, but Ray put together some fantastic shots in the last three minutes."

Meanwhile, the Irish World Championships squad will join a training camp with hosts Germany, Moldova and Holland in Cologne on September 11.

The squad will travel straight from Cologne to Baku ahead of the opening bell for the first major qualifier for the 30th Olympiad.

The World Championships and Olympic qualifiers glove off in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Monday, September 26.

Irish Independent

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