Tommy McCarthy joins Michael Conlan and Jason Quigley in quarter-finals
Irish fighters come through round of 16 bouts at World Championships in Kazakhstan
Tommy McCarthy (right) of Ireland exchanges punches with Emir Ahmatovic of Germany. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan catches Brian Gonzalez of Mexico during their bout in Kazakhstan this morning. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Ireland’s Jason Quigley (right) lands a blow on Aston Brown of Scotland in Almaty. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Heavyweight Tommy McCarthy made it three Irish wins from three at the World Championships in Almaty on Monday, when he beat the German number seven seed Emir Ahmatovic, winning all three rounds 28-29, 28-29, 28-29.
McCarthy will fight in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
It is the Belfast boxer’s first time advancing so far at world level and with three boxers in the ring tomorrow - Paddy Barnes, Seán McComb and Joe Ward - Ireland could be in line for an impressive haul of medals.
It was a bruising battle for McCarthy, with heavy punches landing either way and both boxers out on their feet when the bell ended the final round.
The heavy shots started coming in from the beginning, the German’s straight jab pushing McCarthy back but the Irishman keeping himself busy and refusing to be bullied.
While he tired at the end of the third round, McCarthy had done enough to convince the three judges.
“I had to dig in to the soles of my boots,” he said. “I’m delighted. I worked hard in the training camp, so I’m getting the reward and hopefully now I can get one more fight and into the medal zone. He caught me a couple of clean ones but I was never in trouble but they did hurt.”
Conlan, who was first up in the Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports, had a unanimous win over Mexico’s Brian Gonzalez and Quigley shortly afterwards also won all three rounds against Scotland’s Ashton Brown.
Conlan was in control of his bout against the sometimes wildly swinging Mexican, mixing stylish boxing with his well honed fighting instincts. By the end of the first round he was tagging Gonzalez with clean shots. Conlan continued in that vein throughout the second, the only real danger his opponent’s swinging gloves.
But the number two seed confounded the Mexican who didn’t know what to do as the Irish man switched from orthodox to south paw and back, finally coming home a clear winner.
“He’s a fit kid and he didn’t stop throwing punches,” said Conlan. “I knew he was chasing me. But there’s nothing for certain as Billy (Walsh, coach) always says but I was comfortable in there.”
Quigley had a more bruising contest with Brown and kept the bout busy from the beginning. The Donegal middleweight looked stronger but Brown was dangerous and in the second round particularly found his range and had Quigley momentarily down on one knee.
But the Irish middleweight quickly recovered and still won the round, taking it home 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for a place in his first World Championship quarter-final.
“Every boxer here is top of their own country so you have to be on top of your game,” said Quigley. “I knew I nicked the first round. Obviously he was going to come at me because he knew he was a round down. That’s what he did but I stayed with him and I showed him who was boss.”