McComb shocks world champion

Sean McComb is putting his trust in Irish head coach Zaur Antia and team after sensationally beating Russia’s World Elite light-welter champion Vitaly Dunaystev to qualify for the World Championships from the European Championships in Kharkiv, Ukraine yesterday.

McComb shocks world champion

Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine also qualified for the Worlds after earning a unanimous decision over Turkey’s Bathuhan Citfci to set up today’s flyweight quarter-final with Spain’s Gabriel Escobar.

But Tipperary super-heavy Dean Gardiner was TKO’d by Ukrainian super-heavy Viktor Vykhryst of the Ukraine.

McComb beat Dunaystev on a split verdict at Dublin’s National Stadium in April amid rumblings of “home town decision”.

But the Belfast light-welter did it again yesterday and it was once again apparent that the No. 1 seed was struggling against McComb’s tempo and slick counter-punching.

The top 8 boxers in each weight in Kharkiv qualify for the World Championships in Hamburg, Germany in August/September.

McComb will now meet England’s Pat McCormack in the last-eight tomorrow with a bronze medal up for grabs.

He said: “It was a tough and tricky fight having boxed each other just a few months ago, but I listened to Zaur in the corner.

“He had a plan and it worked very well.

“I haven’t got a chance to watch him (McCormack) out here. What I do know is he’s got as far so he must be doing something right, I will leave the plan to Zaur again and the rest of the team because I have trust in that.”

Joe Ward, the current European light-heavy champion, Darren O’Neill, Emmet Brennan and Kurt Walker are in last 16 action in Kharkiv today.

Meanwhile, ex-Irish head coach Billy Walsh, now chief seconds with USA Boxing, helped steer the USA to 14 medals – two gold – and six World places at the Americas Men’s and Women’s Championships in Honduras over the weekend.

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