Joe Ward guarantees silver and reaches THIRD European Championships final

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Joe Ward scored an easy win this evening in Ukraine to book himself a place in his third European final.

The Westmeath light heavy, a winner in 2011 and 2015, dominated Brazilian-born Italian Valentino Manfredonia, who was injured in the opening round and did well to see the final bell.

The Moate southpaw began quickly, peppering Manfredonia with blistering flurries before landing a huge left at in the closing seconds that badly hurt the Italian, and the Rio Olympian was in visible distress in the corner.

It would become apparent in the second that Manfredonia had injured his right knee, and he bravely toiled through the second, with Ward cruising through the motions.

The third round was another formality and Ward eased to what looked to be a compehensive win.

This was confirmed on the scorecards as Ward took all three rounds with all five judges to book his place in tomorrow afternoon’s final where he will face Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of Russia.

Earlier in the day, Antrim fighters Brendan Irvine and Kurt Walker were eliminated and will take home bronze medals.

European Elite Men’s Championships Kharkiv, Ukraine June 14th/25th
June 16th
(Last 32)
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Erik Agateljan (Czech Republic) 5-0

June 17th
Last 32
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Severiane Childaze (Georgia) 5-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) lost to Sergei Sobylinski (Russia) 0-5

June 18th
Last 32
60kg Pat Mongan (Ireland) lost to Artur Bril (Germany) 0-5
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Bartosz Golebiewski (Poland) 3-2

June 19th
Last 16
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Bathuhan Citfci (Turkey) 5-0
60kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Vitaly Dunaystev (Russia) 3-2
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Viktor Vykhryst (Ukraine) TKO2

June 20th
Last 16
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Tayfur Aliyev (Azerbaijan) 4-1
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) lost to Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Matus Strnisko (Slovakia) 5-0
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Ramazazaqn Musilimov (Ukraine) 1-4

June 21st
Q/Finals
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Gabriel Escobar (Spain) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Raffaele Di Serio (Italy) 3-1
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) lost to Luke McCormack (England) 2-3
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Sean Lazzerini (Scotland) 5-0

June 23rd
S/Finals
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Niall Farrell (England) 0-5
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Mykola Butsenko (Ukraine) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Valentino Manfredonia (Italy) 5-0

Irish squad
52kg – Flyweight – Brendan Irvine (St Pauls) (Bronze)
56kg – Bantamweight – Kurt Walker (Canal) (Bronze)
60kg – Lightweight – Patrick Mongan (Olympic)
64kg – Light-welter – Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
69kg – Welterweight – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg – Middleweight – Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin)
81kg – Light-heavy – Joe Ward (Moate) (Silver, at least)
91kg – Heavyweight – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91+kg – Super-heavy – Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

High-Performance Director/Head of Delegation: Bernard Dunne
Head Coach: Zaur Antia
Coaches: Dmitry Dimitruc, Jimmy Payne, Eoin Pluck
Physio: Seamus Caffrey
Doctor: Jim Clover
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary
Performance Analysis: Alan Swanton

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie