Joe Ward v Julio La Cruz today



Irish captain Joe Ward, Conor Quinn, Kieran Molloy and George Bates had to settle for bronze this afternoon at the Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany.

But Dublin heavyweight Kiril Afanasev advanced to Saturday’s final on a walkover and will meet Erislandy Savon, nephew of three-time Olympic champion Felix Savon, for 91kg gold.

The current Irish Elite champion will be bringing home at least silver from Halle.

Ward,meantime, was edged out on a 3-2 split by Cuba’s Olympic and World champion Julio La Cruz and was left shaking his head in disbelief – as were most neutrals – after the verdict was announced.

The current European Elite champion dropped the highly-rated Cuban, who took a count, in the first and was on top in the second while the third was close and tactical.

Ireland head coach Zaur Antia and coaches Michael Carruth, the 1992 Olympic champion, Philip Keogh and Paul Thompson stated that they believed Ward won and hailed the performances of all four Irish boxers in action this afternoon.

Quinn lost to Salanki Gaurov in the flyweight semi-final. The compact Indian, who beat Irish Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine in the Commonwealth final earlier this year, took a unanimous decision after a high-scoring and open three-rounder.

Molloy was beaten by Cuba’s London 2012 champion Iglesias Sotolongo after a hard-punching and close all southpaw battle. Sotolongo, a silver medallist at the 2017 World Elites, impressed early on, but the Galway welter tactically grew into this fight and regularly tested the former World No. 1 with solid shots off both hands in rounds two and three.

Bates lost to Cuba’s former World champion Jorge Estrada-Alvarez, who John Joe Nevin beat in the London 2012 semi-final, after a cagey three-rounder at the 45th edition of the tournament.

Irish amateur boxing is proudly sponsored by Liffey Crane



45th Men’s Chemistry Cup Halle, Germany June 19/24

June 20th

Last 16

64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Artur Badalian (Ukraine) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) lost to Vikas Krishan (India) 0-5
60kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Artur Bril (Germany) 4-1
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Richard Meinecke (Germany) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Omar El Hag (Germany) 4-1


52kg Conor Quinn (Ireland) beat Umar Bajwa (Germany) 5-0

June 21st


56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Vasilii Vetkin (Russia) 1-4
60kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Lucas Bandi (Canada) 4-1
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Kastriot Sopa (Germany) 2-3
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Thomas Zold (Slovakia) 5-0
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Pavil Silygan (Russia) 4-1
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Lucian Kohne (Germany) 5-0
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Angel Gomez-Larduet (Cuba) 0-5

June 22


52kg Conor Quinn (Ireland) lost to Salanki Gaurov (India) 0-5
60kg George Bates (Ireland) lost to Jorge Estrada-Alvarez (Cuba) 0-5
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Iglesias Sotolongo (Cuba) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) lost to Julio La Cruz (Cuba) 2-3
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat David Michalek (Slovakia) W/O

June 23


91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) v Erislandy Savon (Cuba)

Irish Squad

52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard) (Bronze)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
60kg George Bates (St Marys) (Bronze, at least)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard) (Bronze)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
81kg Joe Ward (Sparticus) (Bronze)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) (Silver,at least)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Head coach: Zaur Antia
Coahes: Michael Carruth, Philip Keogh, Paul Thompson