Ward determined to bring Egan's run to an end
Current AIBA World Youth champion Joe Ward, a gold medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Junior Championships, is aiming to deny Ken Egan an historic 11th Irish Elite title in a row at tonight's National Finals at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Ten male finals and one female final will be decided on a night in which the IABA, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, showcases some of the top amateur boxers in the world.
Ward, who at 17, is 11 years Egan's junior, made his Elite debut with an 8-2 semi-final win over Davey Joe Joyce last weekend.
He won his two AIBA World titles at light-middleweight and middleweight in Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2009/10 before moving up to light-heavyweight.
"Kenny Egan has been the No1 guy for the past 10 years. I can't say I am going to beat him but I hope he doesn't beat me," said Ward, who claimed his second National Youth title earlier this month. "I have sparred Kenny in High Performance. I believe this will be a good fight -- a very exciting fight. I believe there will not be a lot in it.
"I have a lot of power and I hit twice as hard as most of them out there. My shots come with speed as well and that's important. I hope I can do it again next week.
Also tonight, Paddy Barnes will be aiming for a fifth consecutive light-flyweight title. The Belfast man won gold for Ireland at the European Championships in Moscow and also claimed gold for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Barnes meets talented Crumlin BC prospect Evan Metcalfe, the current Intermediate and U21 champion. Both received byes into the 49kg final.
The flyweight final will be contested between Belfast's Michael Conlon and Elite debutant Chris Phelan of the Ryston club in Kildare.
The action begins at 7.45pm.