Paddy Barnes ensured that there will be five Irish boxers in action in Wednesday’s quarter-finals at the World Championships in Kazakhstan following an inside the distance win over Kenya’s Simon Nziok.
The Belfast flyweight dropped Nziok with a sweet left hook in the second minute of the opening round and the referee called a halt to proceedings.
Earlier on Tuesday, light-heavyweight Joe Ward comfortably booked his place in the quarters with a unanimous points victory over Hungary’s Norbert Harsca.
Ward rocked his opponent with two big lefts in the opening two rounds of the 81kg clash. Harsca had his moments, however, mostly off single shots, but Ward’s two and three-punch combinations were always going to win the day and he finished out the bout with an all out assault on the Magyar puncher.
The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, 30-26.
Ward will now meet Russia’s Nikita Ivanov on Wednesday in a repeat of the 2011 European final in Turkey, a bout which the Moate fighter won.
Michael Conlan, Tommy McCarthy and Jason Quigley complete the quintet of Irish boxers who will be fighting for medals on Wednesday
There was disappointment, however, for Belfast fighter Sean McComb after he lost out on a split decision to Elvin Isayev in their lightweight contest on a 29-28, 28-29, 27-30 scoreline.
McComb started well and was awarded the opening round after keeping his opponent at bay.
However, Isayev found his range thereafter and his aggressive approach reaped a winning dividend.
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