Ireland’s great run of boxing Golds in major championships continued in Ankara this afternoon when both Joe Ward and Ray Moylette won their respective final bouts each by an eight points margin.
Light-welterweight ,Moylette, (21) who boxes out of the St Anne’s BC in Westport defeated the favourite, England’s Tom Stalker ,18: 10. Indeed the Liverpudlian never got to grips with the all action style of the man from Islandkeady.
Round one ended 5:5 but by the bell at end of round two the Irishman’s lead was a commanding 12:8 and there was no let-up in round three despite Stalker’s best efforts ,with Moylette running out a very deserving champion 18:10.
A delighted Moylette’s celebratory handstand may well have qualified him for a medal in gymnastics!
Joe Ward later gained a 20:12 decision over Russian Light-Heavy, Nikita Ivanov . The 17 years old from Moate, Co. Westmeath, was under great pressure from Ivanov throughout but many of the Russian’s punches were well off target and in addition he received two official warnings for low body blows.
Ward, won the first round 7-3 and was ahead 15-6 by the end of round two. Any realistic chance the Russian had of recovering had already disappeared after his two well deserved warnings. Although Ivanov did win round three by a point it was Ward’s accurate counter punching that saw him through.
His win today will make it even more difficult for Kenny Egan to gain that coveted place in the Irish squad for the World Championships later this year.
The new European 81Kg gold medal winner, is one of the youngest titleholders in the history of the European championships which first took place in 1923. These were the 39th Championships allowing for interruptions due to war and the fact that tournaments usually take place at two year intervals.
Fred Evans and Andrew Selby gained two gold medals also – for Wales , “Selby’s being their first since Jack Rule’s victory in Stockholm some 86 years ago. England took one silver through Stalker and a bronze for Charlie Edwards.
A great achievement for the Welsh boxers too . But,for Irish followers of the noble art, the day belonged to Ward and Moylette and a great success story for Ireland’s boxers led by High Performance coaches Billy Walsh and Zuar Antia.