Defending champion Sean McComb believes whoever wins the lightweight title at the Irish Elite Championships at Dublin’s National Stadium will be a worthy champion.
The Championships resume with semi-finals tonight (7pm) with London 2012 bronze medallists Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan both between the ropes.
Belfast-born McComb meets Kilkenny’s Keith Flavin in the lightweight semi-final tonight a week after coming from behind to edge ex-Elite champion Declan Geraghty in a three-round war of attrition. Former EU champion David Oliver Joyce, a four-time Elite champion, is in against George Bates in the corresponding semi-final this evening.
McComb, who reached the last 16 at the AIBA World Elite Championships in Kazakhstan last year, reckons high performance training is a big plus.
“I’m fit and training full-time now and I can see a big difference since I joined high performance. This time last year I was blowing out my hole in the last round. I’m getting stronger as I go on,” he said.
“Whoever wins at 60kg deserves it, it’s a very tough weight and hopefully I’m the one that comes out on top. There’s big names in there. Davy Oliver Joyce is a big name, and George Bates.”
Meanwhile, Michael Conlan secured the flyweight title last year but has abandoned his struggle with the 52kg limit and moved up to 56kg where he will face Cork’s Barry Walsh.
Paddy Barnes, who missed the 2013 Championships with flu, face Blaine Dobbins, while defending champion Hughie Myers meets Thomas Waites.
Also tonight, 2011 European Elite champion Ray Moylette and Michael Nevin clash at light-welter, a title that lies vacant after Ross Hickey withdrew with an arm injury. The semi-finals continue tomorrow. London 2012 Olympians Darren O’Neill and Adam Nolan and Joe Ward will be in action.
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