Gold adds to Nolan’s glory

Adam Nolan, with Olympic qualification secured, rounded off a memorable week with the gold medal around his neck after beating the teak tough German welterweight Patrick Wojcicki on countback at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Trabzon.

Two other Irish boxers also visited the podium, with Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes and heavyweight Tommy McCarthy collecting bronze medals.

Nolan came from a point down to tie the score at 14-14. They were level, 2-2, at the end of the first and the German shaded an action-packed second round, 9-8, before the Wexford man settled into a nice rhythm to win the third.

“It topped off the week for us,” Nolan said. “I was happy to qualify for the Olympics but I wanted to come in and get the gold medal today and thankfully I did that. I left it late but it’s nice to bring home the gold medal. My first rounds this week were usually good but I got off to a slow start today. I was probably lucky to be level. Then I thought I won the third by more than one.

“It’s been a great week. I beat four quality opponents. I’ll just take a week or 10 days off and get back into it again. I can take a lot of positives out of this.”

Billy Walsh said since the senior championships they had been “feeding positivity into him” and building up his confidence.

“He went to the Chemistry Cup, had three great fights, beat the Turk who was here and lost a close contest but he won his first major medal. He sparred the world silver medallist in the test match and it was something to watch — it was fantastic — and that filled him with confidence.

Turning to London 2012 and their five qualified boxers, the Irish coach said they are struggling trying to tie down training camps in advance of the games.

“Russia don’t want to let us back in and the Ukraine said they don’t want us back in so we’ll try and alter our plans,” he said. “We’ll speak to them again next week now that we have five boxers qualified for the Olympics and see if they will turn it around and allow us back in. We have a training camp in Ireland. We’ll have Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan coming for 10 days in June and then we’ll look for a camp 10 days before London outside of Ireland and then fly back into London for the Games.

“We’ll look at each individual and see who needs contests along the way. John Joe Nevin, who fractured his jaw, will be cleared to spar again on May 5 and he’s the only one who has not had any competition since he qualified.

“He has enough time, he’s been training. He was in the Ukraine with us. He obviously didn’t compete but he’s training away. He’ll be in good enough shape and we just need to get him into the ring to spar again.”

They will be keeping Joe Ward training flat out with the squad over the coming weeks in the hope he will be allowed into the Olympic tournament.

“We are going to keep Joe Ward training all the time in case something happens behind the scenes,” he said. “The decision won’t be made for a month and in the meantime he’ll be training away.”

At the close of proceedings in Trabzon, the Turks, who drew a blank at the world championships in Baku, had six boxers qualified. But . amid their avalanche of winners on final day, Frenchman Nordine Oubaali hammered their flyweight Selcuk Eker. Oubaali, a former world bronze medallist, lost to Ireland’s Michael Conlon in Baku.

Another Frenchman, light welterweight Chabame Fehim saw his lead turned around in spectacular fashion with the Turk, Yakup Sener, winning 16-11 to claim the only spot available at the weight.

Fortune continued to follow Bahram Muaffer, who got that controversial decision over Joe Ward, as he ended up beating Vatan Huseynli (Azerbaijan) 18-12 for the gold medal.

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