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Good and bad news for Ireland's boxers at the World Championships

The Belfast boxer claimed a 2-1 points win today.

Seán McComb secured victory today.
Seán McComb secured victory today.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ciarán Gallager reports from Doha. 

GARDA ADAM NOLAN was the victim of what some might deem a robbery at the World Championships in Doha, but crimefighter Seán McComb has made it through to the last 16.

Wexford welterweight Nolan, a Garda based in Bray, was taking on European champion Eimantas Stanionis of Lithuania, and came out the wrong side of a 2-1 points loss (29-28, 27-30, 28-29, with a Danish and Turkish judge going against Nolan in a controversial call.

The Irish fighter appeared to land the cleaner blows throughout, but the judges opted to award Stanionis’ aggression despite the fact that he landed few punches of note other than a heavy left hook less than a minute in.

“In the end it was probably the right decision, but it was very close. I’d be disappointed with whatever the judges were looking at in the first two rounds,” said a magnanimous Nolan afterwards, but head coach Walsh was shocked by the decision.

“I couldn’t believe it. How did we not win that? I don’t know what they were looking at to be honest with you,” said Walsh.

Meanwhile, McComb has made it through to the last 16 after a 2-1 points win over Lindolfo Delgado Garca of Mexico at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena.

The Belfast lightweight works part-time as a sight-seeing guide in his native city and recently apprehended two muggers in separate incidents.

He was comfortable throughout his opening bout, using his height and reach advantages to good effect, and despite losing the second round, the 23-year-old landed the better quality punches to pick up a 29-28 win on all three cards.

“I’m very happy. My coaches got the tactics right,” said the Holy Trinity southpaw after his victory. “I said before that if I listen to them and get the tactics right that I’d win.”

McComb’s win has set up a Friday-night rematch with No 3 seed Albert Selimov of Azerbaijan, who defeated the Belfast native in a tight European Games semi-final last June.

Michael Conlan, Michael O’Reilly and Brendan Irvine will all compete on Thursday evening as action continues at the Worlds.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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