Joe Ward unhappy as he loses split decision in World Cup semi-final
Tony Browne, Carly McNaul and Michaela Walsh chasing gold in Germany
Ireland’s Joe Ward was beaten by Germany’s Abu Lubdeh Abdulrahman in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Germany. Photograph: Thomas Balke/Inpho/Pixathlon
European Elite champion Joe Ward crashed out of the World Cup after a shock defeat in Cologne, Germany on Friday night.
The Westmeath southpaw was controversially adjudged to have been beaten by German light heavy Abu Lubdeh Abdulrahman on a split decision.
Ward, who landed the majority of cleaner punches, wasn’t too happy with the call and neither were the Irish corner of head coach Zaur Antia and John Conlan.
Ward said: “I thought I performed really well. Overall, I was in control of the fight. I won every round. I won the fight, anyone can see, but I just didn’t get the decision.”
German coach Eddie Bolger, a former Irish trainer who worked closely with Ward when he was with Ireland, did not work Abdulrahman’s corner on the night.
The Wexford native declined to comment except to say it was a very technical fight.
Meanwhile, Tony Browne beat Aussie heavyweight Brandon Rees on a unanimous decision.
The Dubliner will now meet Russia’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, who Ward has beaten in the past, in Saturday’s 91kg decider.
Earlier on Friday, Antrim pair Carly McNaul and Michaela Walsh upgraded their guaranteed bronze medals to at least silver.
McNaul saw off highly rated Indian flyweight Pinki Raini on a split decision after a slugfest and Walsh followed that with a unanimous verdict win over Romanian feather Lenuta Lacramioara.
McNaul, who has won three fights in three days so far, is back in action for gold versus Armenia’s Anush Grigoryan and two-time Commonwealth finalist Walsh meets India’s Sa Sakshi for the 57kg title.
Both women are the first Irish female boxers to medal at the Chemistry Cup, which has since been rebranded as the World Cup and moved from Halle to Cologne for the 45th edition of the tournament.
CHEMISTRY CUP (WORLD CUP)
(at Cologne, Germany): Semi-finals – Men – 81kg: A Lubdeh Abdulrahman (Germany) bt J Ward (Ireland) 3-2; 91kg: A Browne (Ireland) bt B Rees (Australia) 5-0. Women – 51kg: C McNaul (Ireland) bt P Rani (India) 3-2; 57kg: M Walsh (Ireland) bt L Lacramioara (Romania) 5-0