Joe Ward and Michael Conlon into European Championship finals
Dean Walsh has to settle for a bronze medal after his bout in Samokov, Bulgaria
Dean Walsh, Joe Ward and Michael Conlon, all in European Championships semi-final action on Friday. Photograph: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile
Conlon advanced to the bantamweight final after winning on all three cards, putting away his pumped up opponent 30-27, 29-28, 29-28. The Italian was out of the blocks quickly, all guns blazing, but failed to make any meaningful contact against his evasive Irish opponent.
Conlon will now fight Kezz Ashfaq tomorrow after he too won his bout 3-0. That sets up a repeat of the Commonwealth Games final between the two in which the Belfast born boxer beat the English fighter to the Gold medal. A year later and Conlon is now guaranteed at least a silver medal in these championships, but will no doubt be confident of going one better.
Joe Ward is also through to the light heavyweight final after he produced an impressive performance to get past Croation first seed Hrvoje Sep.
2011 gold medallist Ward was comfortable as he picked off an aggresisve but erratic Sep, taking a unanimous decision 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.
Ward will step into the ring with Peter Mullenberg, from the Netherlands, in Saturday’s final.
There was no such joy for Wexford’s Dean Walsh who lost 29-28 on all three cards to Russia’s Vitaly Dunaytsev in his light welter weight semi-final. He though does leave with a bronze medal, after a promising tournament.