Freak injury dashes Ward hopes of gold

Joe Ward hobbled out of the European Championships following a freak injury against Polish light heavyweight Matrusz Tryc in Minsk, Belarus yesterday.

The Moate BC (Westmeath) southpaw was completely in control of the last 16 clash, but a clash of knees with just 20 seconds remaining in the third and final round TKO’d his ambitions of becoming the first Irish male boxer to win back-to-back European titles.

Irish physio Conor McCarthy said the 2011 European champion dislocated his left kneecap.

Coach Eddie Bolger said that the Irish Elite champion’s focus was now on getting back to full fitness for the 2013 AIBA World Championships in Kazakhstan in October.

“These things can happen. It could have happened in training or in sparring. Unfortunately, it happened in the European Championships. It’s disappointing, very unlucky as Joe wanted to win a second European gold, he said.

“Even if he had managed to see out the fight he would have been out of the Europeans as he’s in a cast now.

Belfast flyweight Michael Conlan, the No 2 seed in the flyweight division, outclassed Narek Abgaryan of Armenia last night.

The London 2012 bronze medallist was given the fight 30-27 by all three judges to set up a quarter-finals clash with Siarhei Loban of Belarus in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Ray Moylette, a gold medal winner at the 2011 European Championships, also exited yesterday on a unanimous decision to Turkish light-welter Huseyin Karslioglu.

The St Anne’s BC Co Mayo orthodox dropped a (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) verdict to the Turk in the 64kg class, while Tipperary super heavy Con Sheehan was unlucky to lose on a split decision to Georgia’s Mikheil Bakhtidze.

Two judges ruled against Sheehan 29-28, but the third judge said the Irishman had edged it 30-27.

Olympic silver and bronze medallists John Joe Nevin, and Paddy Barnes along with Jason Quigley, Adam Nolan and Tommy McCarthy, will be between the ropes today.

Results — 52kg: M Conlan (Ireland) beat N Abgaryan (Armenia) 3-0; 64kg: R Moylette (Ireland) lost to H Karslioglu (Turkey) 0-3; 81kg: J Ward (Ireland) lost to M Tryc (Poland); 91kg+: C Sheehan (Ireland) lost to M Bakhtidze (Georgia) 1-2.

Last 16 — 49kg: P Barnes (Ireland) v J Williams (Wales); 56kg: JJ Nevin (Ireland) v S Exer (Turkey); 69kg: A Nolan (Ireland) v B Shelestyuk (Ukraine); 75kg: J Quigley (Ireland) v A Chakaev (Austria); 91kg: T McCarthy (Ireland) v T Honka (Finland).

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