Belfast light welter Sean McComb has just claimed Ireland’s first win of the World Championships in Hamburg this evening.
The Holy Trinity fighter defeated Brazil’s PanAmerican bronze medalist and Rio Olympian Joedison de Jesus on a split decision in the round of 32 in Germany.
Another Antrim fighter, Canal bantam Kurt Walker, had been eliminated earlier in the day, but McComb ensured there would be something for the Irish to smile about after Day One.
A battle of the southpaws, it was a cagey opener, De Jesus scored with a few clipping rights before a succession of sinking body shots from McComb in the closing 30.
The tactical battle continued into the second, with McComb circling and trading jabs with the South American.
With it all potentially still to fight for, it was the Irish boxer who upped the tempo in the final round, letting go with the backhand left with greater frequency.
A cut was opened up to the right eyelid of McComb’s by an errant Brazilian head. Following an extended pause, it was De Jesus who pushed the action when the round resumed, with McComb looking to box from the outside as blood trickled down his cheek.
Going to the cards after a tight fight it was McComb who was given the nod, taking a 4-1 split decision.
McComb now faces a massive task in the Last 16. The Turf Lodge fighter faces Cuban #2 seed Andy Cruz Gomez on Sunday evening.
While McComb has moved up one weight division this year, Cruz has come up two, having qualified for the Rio Olympics at bantamweight but being unable to compete due to outgrowing the class. Since moving up, the Cuban has won gold in the American Championships.
There is one Irish boxer in action tomorrow, with Tipperary super heavyweight Dean Gardiner facing Korean southpaw Dohyeon Kim.
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography