Ireland’s Joe Ward and Seán McComb move confidently into second week
Light-heavyweight’s win over Polish opponent brings to six the number of Irish in last 16
Joseph Ward (right) exchanges punches with Mateusz Tryc of Poland during their light-heavyweight bout in Almaty. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Joe Ward celebrates after beating Mateusz Tryc of Poland. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Belfast’s Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) is into the last 16 of the 60kg division in Almaty. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Joe Ward’s unanimous decision over Poland’s Mateusz Tryc at the World Championships in Almaty on Sunday brough to six the number of Irish boxers into the second week of competition.
Ward followed Belfast’s Seán McComb, who earlier won his fight unanimously in what was a successful weekend for the Irish team.
Light-heavyweight Ward was controlled throughout the three rounds apart, form the final minute when Tryc knew he had to try and pull out something special to win. But the Irish teenager kept his right jab working and scored through out with his left back hand, never allowing the contest to stray into a brawl.
Ward, who injured his knee against the same opponent in the recent European Championships and then his hand after that, controlled the tempo of the bout over all three rounds.
Tryc occasionally swung wildly but Ward was sharp and aware, and not one connected to cause his coach Eddie Bolger or Irish head coach Billy Walsh any concern.
“I was very relaxed and taking my shots off nicely,” said the Moate southpaw after the fight. “Thank god there weren’t any other injuries. It was great to get past him and I came out in one piece.
“I feel good. I’m in good shape alright. I’d a good training camp but didn’t get that many spars because of my hand. But my conditioning was good and that will improve as I go on.”
Lightweight McComb moved into the last 16 earlier with he won a unanimous decision over Central African Federation’s Gildas Bangana. The Holy Trinity fighter beat Israel’s Almog Briga 3-0 in his first bout.
McComb, towering over his opponent, earned points working from his superior jab and scoring frequently off his back hand against a limited but lively opponent.
There was very little for Walsh to work with in terms of background on Bangana, so McComb began the bout cautiously and keeping his distance.
As the fight progressed he rarely had to move into a higher gear and clearly won all three rounds, his superior reach confounding the African.
“It was controlled,” said Irish coach Billy Walsh. “We’d no coverage of Sean’s opponent and no video evidence so he had to go into the fight cautious. He jabbed and picked him up and got the job done.”