World Championship: Three Irish boxers through to last 8
Conlan, Irvine and O’Reilly make it a clean sweep on a great day for Team Ireland
Joe Ward: will be bidding to join his team-mates in the last eight. Photograph: Kostadin Andonov/Inpho
Joe Ward and Seán McComb will attempt to increase Ireland’s quarter-final contingent to five at the World Championships after Michael Conlan, Brendan Irvine and Michael O’Reilly recorded wins last night.
Ward and McComb compete on Friday night following a trio of last-16 successes for Team Ireland at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena where a vocal contingent of ex-pat Irish supporters made themselves heard throughout the evening.
The Belfast light-flyweight appeared lethargic to begin with in the first round, taking on Turkey’s Muhammet Unlu. However, Irvine gradually took control of the bout in the second and final rounds to claim a split-decision win.
De Jesus won the first round despite landing few troublesome shots, and looked to spoil afterwards to the point that he was warned for a low blow in the final round as Conlan recover to record a majority points win, 28-28, 29-27, 30-26.
“I knew he was going to get warned, so I played on it even more,” said Conlan afterwards. “I took my 10 seconds break and recovered.
“I think he died a death a bit in the last round, my fitness is very good, and what I seen of him he usually fades in the last round. I knew it was going to be a high-paced fight and tough, though. He’s a two-time Olympian and a smart fighter.”
O’Reilly made it 3-0 for Ireland on day three of the competition, claiming a dominant 3-0 points win over Australian Daniel Lewis. Intriguingly, O’Reilly will meet Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in the last eight, the Kazkh fighter who defeated Jason Quigley in the 2013 final.