Canal club's Kurt Walker takes Irish boxing title as Joe Ward targets another European title after landing crown

Kurt Walker of Canal celebrates after winning his fight against Stephen McKenna of Old School during their 56kg bout at the 2017 IABA Elite Boxing Championship finals in the National Stadium, Dublin
Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
From Bernard O'Neill at the National Stadium, Dublin

JOE WARD will be aiming for his third European title in the Ukraine in June after claiming his fifth Irish Elite belt at Dublin’s National Stadium.

The Moate BC light-heavy,who missed the last two National Championships because he was contracted to AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) and technically ineligible, beat Dubliner Anthony Browne in the light-heavy class.

Browne looked in trouble inside the opening 10 seconds after being sent flying onto the ropes from a big left, but found his feet swiftly to worry the current European champion, particularly in the second.

Ward, however, got the better of enough of the big exchanges to take a 4-1 verdict.

“There’s no place like the National Stadium on finals night,’’ said Ward, who, aged just 17, stunned Olympic finalist Ken Egan in the 2011 decider to secure his first belt.

“I enjoyed the Championships and especially winning an Irish title again. The last time I won one was in 2014, I should be going for my seventh but I missed some because of APB. Fair play to Anthony. He came to fight but I was always confident.”

Ward, who was cut over the left versus Browne, reached an AIBA World Elite final in 2015 but was beaten by Cuba’s current Olympic champion Cesar de la Cruz in Doha,Qatar.

The 2017 World Championships in Germany in August/September is another target for the Rio Olympian who wants to improve on his silver medal finish on the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Europeans are the only qualifiers for the Worlds, so I’ll be looking to retain my title there, and, all going well, go one better than Doha in Hamburg,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dubliner Kellie Harrington beat Tipperary’s Shauna O’Keeffe on a 4-1 split to take the lightweight title vacated by Katie Taylor. The World Elite silver medallist earned a unanimous decision to seal her seventh Elite crown.

Kurt Walker outpointed Stephen McKenna in an up-tempo contest to secure his third successive bantam crown and the deeds to the bantam 56kg: position vacated by Michael Conlan.

 Irish boxing – because Conlan did not enter the last two Elites prior to this year’s edition – was left in the ironic position of having Walker as Irish champion and Conlan as World and European champion.

 “That means I’m the best in Ireland no matter what. Last year I beat the flyweight champion, now I beat the light-flyweight champion so I’ve beaten two champions in the finals,’’ said Walker.

“I’m going to head out to the Europeans to win a medal because I’ll be two or three times better than that, especially working with Zaur (Antia) and Eddie (Bolger) and John (Conlan, father of Michael Conlan).

Belfast light-fly Kristina O’Hara forced Mayo’s Shannon Sweeney into a standing count in the third en route to the 48kg title, while Grainne Walsh forced Gillian Duffy, who had Peter Taylor working her corner, into three standing counts in rounds two and three to take home the vacant welter title.

Dervla Duffy dethroned defending feather champion Moira McElligott, and Leona Houlihan and Blaine Dobbins also had their hands raised in victory.

National Elite Championships National Stadium Dublin

Full results

February 17 2017


Best Boxer Award:  Dean Walsh

48kg: Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco A) beat Shannon Sweeney (St Annes) 5-0
51kg: Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road) W/O
56kg: Kurt Walker (Canal) beat Stephen McKenna (Old School) 5-0
69kg: Grainne Walsh (Spartacus) beat Gillian Duffy (Bray) TKO3
57kg: Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart) beat Moira McElligott (St Michaels Athy) 4-1
54kg: Terry Mullarney (Ballyhaunis) W/O
81kg: Leona Houlihan (Crumlin) beat Caroline Connolly (Mourne GG) TKO2
49kg: Blaine Dobbins (St Josephs Derry) beat Darryl Moran (Illies GG) 3-2
81kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) 4-1
60kg: Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin) beat Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel) 4-1
60kg: Patrick Mongan (Olympic) beat George Bates (St Marys Dublin) 3-2
64kg: Ciara Ginty (Geesala) beat Emma Agnew (Dealgan) 5-0
64kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) 5-0
52kg: Brendan Irvine (St Pauls) beat Thomas McCarthy (Mayfield) 5-0
69kg: Dean Walsh (St Ibars)beat Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) 5-0
75kg: Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) W/O
75kg: Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan) 4-1`
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Ken Okungbowa (Athlone) 5-0
91+kg: Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) 4-1
81+kg: Maeve McCarron (Carrigart) W/O

February 11

52kg: Thomas McCarthy (Mayfield) beat Adam Courtney (St Marys Dublin) 3-2
56kg: Stephen McKenna (Old School) beat Myles Casey (St Francis) 3-2
60kg: Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel) beat Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) 5-0
60kg: Patrick Mongan (Olympic) beat Gerard Matthews (St Pauls Antrim) 4-1
64kg: Ciara Ginty (Geesala) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Ahtlone) 4-1
64kg: Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) beat Benaldo Marime (Holy Trinity) 5-0
69kg: Grainne Walsh (Spartacus) beat Tina Donnelly (Corinthians) 5-0
69kg: Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) beat Peter Carr (Crumlin) 5-0
75kg: Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan) beat Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) 3-2
81kg: Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) beat Sean Allen (Arklow) 5-0
91kg: Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone) beat Cormac Long (Rathkeale) 5-0
91+kg: Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) beat Bernard O’Reilly (Portlaoise) 4-1

February 10

48kg: Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco A) beat Carol Coughlan (Monkstown D) 5-0
49kg: Blaine Dobbins (St Josephs Derry) beat Connor Jordan (St Aidans) 3-2
52kg: Brendan Irvine (St Pauls Antrim) beat TJ Waite (Ormeau Road) 5-0
57kg: Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart) beat Tiegan Russell (Fr Horgans) 4-1
57kg: Moira McElligott (St Michaels Athy) beat Amanda Coughlan (Paulstown) 5-0
56kg: Kurt Walker (Canal) beat Evan Metcalfe (Crumlin) 5-0
60kg: George Bates (St Marys Dublin) beat Gary McKenna (Old School) 5-0
64kg: Emma Agnew (Delagan) beat Sidhbh Greene (St Brigids Eden) 5-0
64kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Patrick Linehan (St Marys Dublin) 5-0
69kg: Dean Walsh (St Ibars) beat Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart O) 5-0
75kg: Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) 3-2
81kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat Michael Frayne (St Marys) 4-0
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat John Joe McDonagh (Crumlin) 5-0
91+kg: Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Damien Sullivan (Emerald Antrim) 3-2

February 4

60kg: Gary McKenna (Old School) beat Alan O’Connor (Bawnogue) 5-0
64kg: Patrick Linehan (St Marys Dublin) beat Colm Quinn (Castlebar) 4-1
69kg: Dean Walsh (St Ibars) beat Mark McCole (Dungloe) 5-0
69kg: Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart O) beat Gerard French (Clonard U) 4-1
69kg: Peter Carr (Crumlin) beat Nathan Watson (Saints) 5-0
69kg: Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) beat Ross Boyle (Mourne GG) 3-2
91+kg: Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Patrick Nevin (St Michaels Dublin) 5-0
91+kg: Bernard O’Reilly (Portlaoise) beat James Clarke (Kilnamanagh) 5-0
91+kg: Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) beat John McDonnell (Crumlin) 4-1

February 3

52kg:: TJ Waite (Ormeau Road) beat Tommy Casey (St Francis) 5-0
56kg: Evan Metcalfe (Crumlin) beat Frankie Cleary (Ballina) 5-0
56kg: Myles Casey (St Francis) beat Eamon McNally (St Michaels Antrim) 5-0
69kg: Mark McCole (Dungloe) beat Fergal Redmond (Arklow) 5-0
75kg: Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat John Joyce (St Michaels Athy) 5-0
75kg: Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) beat Glory Carlos Lumuala (Maynooth) 5-0
75kg: Stephen Broadhurst (Delagan) beat David Bicevas (St Saviours OBA) 5-0
75kg: Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) beat Conor Doherty (Emerald Antrim) 5-0
81kg: Michael Frayne (St Marys Dublin) beat Robert Burke (Glasnevin) 5-0
81kg: Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) beat Sean Conroy (Ballina) 3-2
91kg: John Joe McDonagh (Crumlin) beat Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) 3-2
91kg: Cormac Long (Rathkeale) beat Geoffrey Kavanagh (Glasnevin) 4-1


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