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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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Ding ding — we went round-by-round  for this evening’s National Elite Boxing Championship Finals, including the light-heavyweight showdown between Olympic medallist Kenneth Egan and defending champion Joe Ward.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this evening’s fights. E-mail niall@thescore.ie,tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Results

  • 48kg women: Lynne McEnery bt Oliwia Samsanov 16-13
  • 49kg men: Paddy Barnes bt Hugh Myres 21-17
  • 52kg men: Michael Conlan bt Chris Phelan 19-11
  • 56kg men: John Joe Nevin bt Michael Nevin 23-3
  • 57kg women: Michaela Walsh bt Dervla Duffy 15-13
  • 60kg men: Michael McDonagh bt David Oliver Joyce 17-14
  • 64kg men: Ross Hickey bt Stephen Coughlan 21-5
  • 69kg men: Adam Nolan bt John Joe Joyce 17-15
  • 75kg men: Darren O’Neill bt Conor Coyle (walkover)
  • 81kg men: Joe Ward bt Kenneth Egan 29-10
  • 91kg men: Tommy McCarthy bt Christy Joyce KO (Rd 3)
  • 91+kg men: Con Sheehan bt Sean Turner 25-10

Evening all, and welcome to TheScore.ie‘s live coverage of the 2012 National Elite Boxing Championships.

There are 11 titles down for decision tonight, including the eagerly-anticipated rematch between light-heavyweight champion Joe Ward and Olympic medallist Kenneth Egan.

The action’s just getting started in a packed National Stadium, so stay here — you won’t miss a punch.

In the evening’s first bout, the women’s light-flyweight (48kg), Lynne McEnery has beaten Oliwia Samsanov 16-13.

Next up, it’s Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes, who is hoping for a sixth senior title in the light-flyweight division against Hugh Myres from Ryston.

Men’s 49kg: Paddy Barnes beat Hugh Myres 21-17

Belfast’s Paddy Barnes takes home his sixth senior light-flyweight title, but he was pushed right up until the final bell of a gripping contest by Hugh Myres.

Barnes began full of energy in the first two rounds, but Myres was content to trust his defences and counter-punch. The fight was finely poised at 14-13 Barnes going into the final round, but in the end, the defending champion was able to count on his experience and pull through for a hard-fought four-point win.

Next up — the men’s bantamweight (56kg) final between Joe Joe Nevin of Cavan and Michael Nevin of Portlaoise.

56kg: John Joe Nevin beat Michael Nevin 23-3

John Joe Nevin continued his dominance of the bantamweight division with a brilliant 23-3 victory over his younger namesake, Michael. JJ was run close before knocking out Sean McComb in the semi-finals last week, but he took control of this evening’s contest from the off and raced into a 15-2 lead by the end of the second round.

Michael’s frustration began to show in the second as he started to swing wildly, and JJ was able to pick him off easily, forcing three standing counts before the final bell of a comprehensive win.

The win is John Joe Nevin’s fifth senior title as a bantamweight.

Women’s featherweight (57kg): Michaela Walsh beat Dervla Duffy 15-13

Michaela Walsh scored a narrow two-point win over Dervla Duffy to take home the national title in the women’s featherweight division.

Duffy fell behind 4-2 in the opening round of a evenly-matched contest, and despite brilliant second and third rounds, couldn’t quite claw her back into the fight.

Walsh showed all of the experience which won her a bronze medal at last year’s AIBA World Youth Championships, and despite losing the final round 2-3, hung on to claim Holy Family’s second title of the night.

There’s a short break between bouts now, which will give us time to catch our breath after a hectic first hour of fighting.

For those of you eagerly awaiting Ward v Egan, we should be underway in about 20 minutes. Ewan McKenna — who penned Kenny’s recent autobiography — was in touch with the man himself earlier this evening, and he had this to say:

Speaking with Kenny, he was feeling good and no pressure, just looking forward to it. Good way for him to be. If he can repeat London form where he looked back to his best at the right weight, I have to say I fancy him!

Next up: the flyweight (52kg) final between Michael Conlan and Chris Phelan.

52kg: Michael Conlan beat Chris Phelan 19-11

Michael Conlan retained his national flyweight title with an impressive 19-11 win against Chris Phelan in a rematch of last year’s 52kg final.

The baby-faced Conlan, who has already qualified for the Olympics, was able to pick off his punches against Phelan and had opened up a 13-7 lead by the end of the second round.

Phelan refused to bow out and continued to push Conlan in the final round, but the defending champion’s greater accuracy told in the end as he ran out winner by eight points.

Take your seats, ladies and gentlemen. It’s time for the big one. In the 81kg light-heavweight division, it’s defending champion Joe Ward against Olympic medallist — and 10-time national champion — Joe Ward. Yowza!

So who is your money on? Will it be 18-year-old Ward, who stunned Egan last year? Or will the experienced gloves of Kenny Egan see him through for a record-breaking 11th title?

Earlier this week, Ward described tonight’s fight as “the biggest nine minutes” of his young career. That’s how important this is. It’s European champion v Olympic silver medallist… and we’re underway now.

Round 1: Ward 9-5 Egan

A ferocious opening round. Ward comes racing out of the traps and he has Egan on the back foot for most of the opening three minutes. It’s the youngster who lands the cleaner shots to open up a 9-5 lead and as the bell goes, he knows it, pounding his chest as he turns to the crowd.

It’s a sizable lead. Can Ward keep up this pace, or will Egan find his way back into the fight?

Round 2: Ward 17-8 Egan

Another brilliant round by Ward, who continues to take this fight to Egan. The youngster is on the canvas mid-way through the second round, but it’s ruled a slip. Ward responds and catches Egan with two brilliant lefts in the second half of the round, forcing Egan to take a standing count as the final second tick away.

Ward wins that round 8-3. The champion leads by nine going into the final round, and Egan will need a knockout.

81kg: Joe Ward beats Kenneth Egan 29-10

Brilliant stuff by the defending champion who was simply too good for Egan tonight. Although he looked to tire a bit as expected in that final round, Ward boxed very clever, using his left jab to set up the right cross and take the steam of Egan. He wins that final round by a whopping 12-2 and retains his national light-heavyweight title.

On the basis of tonight’s performance, you’d have to hope that Ward can secure Olympic qualification in Trabzon and go on to London in the summer

Egan: “I wish him the best of luck in the qualifiers. And when he qualifies, I’ll put a couple of grand on him to win a medal.”

Lovely scenes in the National Stadium as the old guard and the new stand side by side and embrace in the ring. Egan says that Ward will win a medal in London and, if he can stay fit and continue to perform at this level, who’d bet against him?

In a word, that was a destruction tonight, made even more impressive by the calibre of Ward’s opponent.

Asked about his plans for the future, Egan promises he’s not thinking of retirement yet.

Next up: we’re back to the 60kg lightweight division for Michael Mc Donagh v David Oliver Joyce.

60kg: Michael McDonagh beats David Oliver Joyce 17-14

Michael McDonagh retained his national lightweight title with a second successive win over four-time champion David Oliver Joyce.

McDonagh won last year’s title via disqualification, but showed this evening that he is more than a match for Joyce with an intelligent tactical display.

McDonagh refused to get drawn into a slugfest against his older and more experienced opponent, keeping a tight guard and landing neat scoring punches to open up a 11-7 lead at the end of the second round.

Joyce kept up his workrate right until the final bell, but couldn’t get close enough to land the knockout blow needed to strip McDonagh of his title and a place at the Olympic qualifiers in Trabzon.

In the ring, defending middleweight champion Darren O’Neill has been presented with his fifth national title following a walkover win against Conor Coyle.

The Derry fighter withdrew from the contest earlier today with an injury to his left hand.

Next up: welterweight champion Adam Nolan defends his title against John Joe Joyce.

69kg: Adam Nolan beats John Joe Joyce 17-15

Bray’s Adam Nolan edged a thrilling finale to the welterweight division to retain his national title with a 17-15 win against John Joe Joyce.

Nolan, who is trained by Peter Taylor, opened up a 7-4 lead in the first round but had to stay strong as Joyce matched him punch for punch and very nearly turned it around in the end.

Joyce trailed by two points, 12-10, heading into the final round but one final surge from Nolan was enough to keep that narrow margin between the fighters at the final bell.

Nolan, who has now won back-to-back welterweight titles, will fight for an Olympic place at the qualifiers in Trabzon in April.

Next up is the light-welterweight (64kg) final — Grangecon’s Ross Hickey is up against Stephen Coughlan from Bray.

64kg: Ross Hickey beats Stephen Coughlan 21-5

2011 boxer of the tournament Ross Hickey made light work of Stephen Coughlan to retain his light-welterweight title with a convincing 21-5 win.

After an evenly-matched opening round, Hickey stepped up a gear in the second and outclassed Coughlan to open up a 11-3 lead.

The Grangecon fighter refused to relent in the final three minutes and continued to land good scoring punches before running out winner by a margin of 16 points.

91kg: Tommy McCarthy beats Christy Joyce KO (R3)

Tommy McCarthy won his first national title with a third-round knockout of Christy Joyce in the 91kg heavyweight final.

McCarthy, twice a beaten finalist at the national championships, controlled the opening two rounds of a competitive final and worked the angles well to open up a 9-6 lead over Joyce.

Any hopes which the Athy man had of mounting a comeback were dashed with a single blow midway through the final round as McCarthy felled him with a sweet shot to score the evening’s first knockout win.

Time for our final fight of the night, and it’s a beaut — the 91+ kg super-heavyweight final between Con Sheehan and Sean Turner.

91+kg: Con Sheehan beats Sean Turner 25-10

Clonmel’s Con Sheehan wrapped up his fifth national title with a 25-10 win against Sean Turner in tonight’s super-heavyweight decider.

Sheehan had the better of a cagey opening first round before the contest really came into its own towards the end of the second, with both fighters standing toe-to-toe trading blows at the bell.

Sheehan led 16-7 going into the third and final round, and despite some nice lefts from Turner, it was hardly enough to rock Sheehan and stop him from closing out a 15-point win.

That’s all we have time for this evening. It’s been quite brilliant, not least Joe Ward’s stunning defeat of Kenny Egan in the evening’s showpiece event.

Thanks for stopping by.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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