Wednesday 13 December 2017

Egan's Olympic dreams crushed after he fails to win back crown

THE dream is over. The National Stadium was packed to capacity last night for the National Elite Boxing Final between Ireland's Olympic silver medallist Kenny Egan and Ireland's reigning light-heavyweight champion Joe Ward.

Egan, who turned 30 a month ago, was hoping to make history by regaining his light-heavyweight national title and becoming the first Irish boxer in the 101-year-old history of the IABA to win 11 Senior titles.

Last year, after a run of 10 successive National Senior titles, Egan was defeated by Joe Ward.

He went into this year's tournament determined to re-gain his crown and put himself in with a chance of representing Ireland at the London Olympics.


But Ward produced the best performance of his career to force Kenny back and win the bout on a score of 28-10.

Although disappointed, Kenny told the Herald afterwards, "I'm not finished yet. I'm definitely not retiring. I'll keep training and there'll be competitions... I'm staying at light-heavyweight. I won't be changing."

Asked how he rates the 18-year old from Moate, Kenny said, "Joe is one of the strongest boxers I've ever fought. He's also technically brilliant. He was very strong. I have no excuses. It was hard to hit him. It's done now. I shook his hand and wished him the best of luck."

Joe Ward counts Kenny as a friend. "Kenny is a great boxer," he said. "I respect him for what he's done. But I knew I was fast enough and good enough to do it tonight."

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