Joe Ward has claimed an unprecedented third European gold medal today at the European Championships in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Champion in 2011 and 2015, the Moate southpaw defeated Russian Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in the light heavyweight final to claim a gold medal hat trick.
Ward has scored a comfortable semi final win over an injured Valentino Manfredonia and looked much fresher and sharper against his Russian opponent today.
Ward started the better of the two. Trying to entice the Russian to throw and landing his southpaw left hook on the counter.
In the second Gadzhimagomedov came out firing and caught Ward with a couple of nice hooks, but the Westmeath man replied with some of his own in a much tighter round.
Ward started the final round by targeting the body and head with jabs while Gadzhimagomedov was struggling to land his shots, with Ward making him miss. Perhaps sensing that the bout is getting away from him, the Russian started getting sloppy and coming forward throwing wild hooks whilst Ward boxed and moved to victory.
Going to the cards, Ward was awarded the bout by all five judges, on scorelines of 30:27 x3 and 29:28 x2 for a famous win.
European Elite Men’s Championships Kharkiv, Ukraine June 14th/25th
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Erik Agateljan (Czech Republic) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Severiane Childaze (Georgia) 5-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) lost to Sergei Sobylinski (Russia) 0-5
60kg Pat Mongan (Ireland) lost to Artur Bril (Germany) 0-5
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Bartosz Golebiewski (Poland) 3-2
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
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
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
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Niall Dean 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
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Muslim Gadzhimagomedov (Russia) 5-0
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) (Gold)
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
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti