Egan fails to show as Irish battle US

KENNETH EGAN caused a major sensation in Irish boxing long before last night’s big home international against the USA got underway when the Olympic silver medallist failed to show up for the weigh-in.

Egan, it was learned, had not shown up at the High Performance Unit all week but the Irish coach, Billy Walsh, said they had hoped he would show up to take his place at the top of last night’s bill on which he was scheduled to box the 2008 Police Athletic League champion, Siju Shabazz.

“All I can say is that he’s not here,” a disappointed Billy Walsh said. “He hasn’t weighed in for the competition. We understand he had a problem with an injury last week but we have not had any confirmation of that.

“He has been missing all week and he has not returned any calls.

“Obviously there is something underlying it. This not the norm. I will be talking to him next week.”

Paddy Barnes had his first bout since winning the bronze medal at the Olympic games but showed no signs of ring rust as he traded punches with the 2008 American light flyweight champion, Louie Byrd from Denver.

Some toe-to-toe exchanges had the crowd on their toes early and it appeared midway through the first round that the diminutive Belfast dynamo would stop his opponent with a succession of two-fisted onslaughts. Byrd survived the round but was hanging on at the end of a 9-0 score.

Barnes took his foot off the pedal in the second round but still won it 4-1 to put himself into an unassailable position going into the final three minutes and he went on to win 22-2.

John Joe Nevin earned an emphatic victory over the reigning national Golden Gloves bantamweight champion, Enersto Garza from Michigan.

The Mullingar man tested the American’s resilience with two text book right hands to the head in the first round but Garza took them in his stride. Nevin won the round 6-0.

He won the second round 4-0 and the final round 6-1 for a 16-1 for another very impressive victory.

Ireland’s double world and European lightweight champion, Katie Taylor, made another strong case for the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympic Games with a spectacular performance against Queen Underwood from Seattle.

The Bray woman won the first round 9-1 and then unleashed a succession of ferocious multi-punch combinations to win the second 13-1. The plucky American still kept coming forward defiantly in the third round presenting the perfect target for Taylor who won the contest 30-3.

Carl Frampton (Midland) came back from a 6-1 first round to win the second round 3-2 and the third 65 before going under 13-10 to the Cleveland Olympian, Raynell Williams.

Declan Geraghty, the new national flyweight champion, did remarkably well to stay the distance with reigning world champion, Rau’shee Warren. Ross Hickey dished out a 19-6 drubbing to Eric Fowler while Philip Sutcliffe (Crumlin) outpointed Charles Watson 13-9 to give Ireland a 4-2 lead.

Results: Light Flyweight: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family GG) beat Louis Byrd 22-2 Flyweight: Declan Geraghty (Dublin Docklands) lost to Rau’shee Warren 15-4; Bantamweight: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Ernesto Garza 16-1; Featherweight: Carl Frampton (Midland, Belfast) lost to Raynell Williams 10-13, Lightweight: Ross Hickey (Grangecon,Wicklow) beat Eric Fowler 19-6; Women’s Lightweight: Katie Taylor (Bray) beat Queen Underwood 30-3. Light Welterweight: Philip Sutcliffe (Crumlin) beat Charles Watson 13-9. Welterweight: Willie McLoughlin (Illies GG) beat Javonte Starks 15-10. Middleweight: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) beat Alen Whitfield 13-5.

Light Heavyweight: Brendan Fitzgerald (West Finglas) beat Sijoula Shabazz 13-12.

Heavyweight: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) beat Paul Koon 14-4. Super Heavyweight: Anthony Crampton (St Broghans) lost to Michael Hunter RSC Rd . Overall Result: Ireland 9 USA 3.

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