Boxing

Aidan Walsh aiming for a hat-trick of Elite victories on the trot

Bernard O'Neill

ANTRIM welter Aidan Walsh will be aiming for his third victory in four days in the last four of the Liffey Crane National Elite Championships at Dublin's National Stadium tonight.

The Monkstown BC stylist, who beat Dublin's Terry McEntee 4-1 last Friday, beat Galway's Kieran Molloy 4-1 24 hours later to book his ticket into tonight's semi-final against Ryan O'Rourke of the St Michael’s BC in Dublin.

It all added up to 4-1 for Walsh over the weekend, as Molloy, the defending champion who was aiming for three in a row, took the first round on four of the five cards, but the 2018 Commonwealth finalist nailed rounds two and three 4-1 to post a 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29 verdict.

“Unfortunately, it didn't happen for us on Saturday night,” admitted Molloy's coach and dad Stephen Molloy, who expressed confidence that his son will bounce straight back from the reversal.

There was injury heartbreak for rising Ulster 81kg fighter Kane Tucker.

The Emerald star fractured his wrist during Friday night’s win over David Biscevis (St Saviours OBA).

“Unfortunately, Kane had to withdraw from the Irish elites on Saturday night, ‘’ said his coach Harry Hawkins.

“He sustained a scaphoid fracture to his right wrist in his unanimous win in the Stadium the night before. It’s a bad blow, but knowing how dedicated Kane is, I’m confident he’ll bounce back from it.’’ 

Cork southpaw Callum Walsh and Drogheda’s Eugene McKeever, who toppled Luke McGuire and Michael Bustard on Saturday, clash in the corresponding 69kg semi-final this evening.

Elsewhere, Tyrone’s Jude Gallagher impressed en route to a unanimous decision over Sean Kavanagh on his Elite debut. The Two Castles BC flyweight is in against defending champion Adam Hession this evening.

“I felt I boxed very well and controlled the fight comfortably, especially for my first Elite fight. That was my Elite debut and also my first fight without a head guard,” said Clancy.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Michael Carruth reckons that defending feather champion Patryk Adamus will only get better.

The Drimnagh BC battler edged Laois’ Christian Cekiso on a 3-2 split on Saturday in a repeat of last February’s final, which the Dubliner, who renews acquaintances with Limerick’s Tommy Casey tonight, also won 3-2.

“There’s tough lads there. We’re taking it one fight at a time, the old cliche. He (Adamus) reminds me of me sometimes. I always say that the toughest fight in any Championships is your first fight,'' said Carruth, who is working Adamus' corner.

“I mean Olympics, Worlds, Nationals, it’s your first fight that's always the toughest because you’re questioning yourself, “am I fit enough, am I sharp enough, have I done enough work?”

"We obviously boxed that lad (Cekiso) in the final and he’s a good kid, he has all the merits. We knew we were in for a tough fight. It was always going to be close between Paddy and him."

Fifteen semi-finals will be decided tonight including the outstanding quarter-final featuring Caitlin Fryers of the Immaculata BC and Kildare’s Niamh Early. Carly McNaul (Holy Family BC) anticipates the winner on Wednesday.

The finals will be decided on Friday night at the National Stadium. Defending champion Michaela Walsh, Aiden's sister, awaits the victor from Wednesday last-four clash between Emma Agnew and Dearbhla Rooney for the 57kg title.

The IABA is running the Elites twice this year in the run-up to the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 at the Copper Box in London next March. Seventy-seven places – 50 for men and 27 for women – will be up for grabs across the 13 weight classes in both genders.

There will be one final world qualifier in Paris next May. The exact amount of places available in the French capital is contingent on which weights Japan takes its six – 4 for men and 2 for women – invitation places in.

Liffey Crane National Elite Championships National Stadium, Dublin

Saturday, November 16

Quarter-finals

48kg: S Sweeney (St Annes) beat C Coughlan (Monkstown D) 4-1;

48kg: C Walsh (Smithfield) beat C Daly (Crumlin) 5-0;

57kg: P Adamus (Drimnagh) beat C Cekiso (Portlaoise) 3-2;

57kg: T Casey (St Francis) beat C Kerr (Monkstown) 5-0;

57kg: S Purcell (Enniskerry) beat K Marshall (Emerald) 5-0;

57kg: D Clancy (Sean McDermott) beat JP Hale (Star) 5-0;

69kg: A Walsh (Monkstown) beat K Molloy (Oughterard) 4-1;

69kg: R O’Rourke (St Michaels) beat M Kinsella (St Anthonys/Pats) 3-2;

69kg: C Walsh (Riverstown) beat L Maguire (Esker) 3-2;

69kg: E McKeever (Holy Family Drogheda) beat M Bustard (Dockers) 5-0;

81kg: T O’Toole (Celtic Eagles) beat B Kennedy (St Marys & DF) 4-1;

81kg: A Browne (St Michaels) beat P Nosic (Brian Dillons) 5-0;

81kg: P McCullagh (St John Bosco) beat T Hyde (St Michaels Athy) 4-1;

81kg: E Brennan (Dublin Docklands) W/O;

91+kg: G Lisinskas (Celtic Eagles) beat M Keenan (Rathkeale) 4-0;

91+kg: A Griffin (Celtic Eagles & DF) M Mongan beat (Corpus Christi) 5-0;

91+kg: T Carthy (Crumlin) beat S McMonagle (Holy Trinity) 5-0;

91+kg: K Okungbowa (Athlone) beat C Griffin (Celtic Eagles) 5-0;

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