The Ulster High Performance squad chalked up four semi-finals wins from four – including a hat-trick over Russia – to book tickets into Saturday’s multi-nation finals in Rostov, Russia.

TJ Waite got proceedings underway with a unanimous decision over the Ukraine and Kurt Walker showed his class against a Russian opponent.

Gary McKenna and Steven Ward TKO’d Russian opponents, both of whom retired injured, in the third round to advance to Saturday’s deciders.

The Ulster team go head-to-head with Belarus in three of Saturday’s encounters, with Waite meeting Russia’s Cingiz Natirov in the flyweight final.

The Ulster squad are due to arrive home on December 21st. Teams from Russia, Ulster, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are competing in Rostov.

“All the boys performed very well. Four from four, we’re delighted with that,” said coach John Conlan.

“TJ won a great battle against Russia. In a toe-to-toe battle he came out on top. Kurt cruised into final with a classy performance. Gary won a tight fight when his opponent retired in the third round and Steve won a bruising battle against a strong and game Russian. The fight was stopped in last round by a cut.”

December 18th S/Finals
52kg TJ Waite beat Ukraine 3-0
56kg Kurt Walker beat Russia 3-0
60kg Gary McKenna beat Russia TKOI3
91kg Stevie Ward beat Russia TKO13

December 19th


52kg TJ Waite v Cingiz Natirov (Russia)
56kg Kurt Walker v Nickolay Shakh (Belarus)
60kg Gary McKenna v Demirty Sapon (Belarus)
91kg Steven Ward v Leonid Chernabayev (Belarus)

Ulster Squad

52kg TJ Waite (Ormeau Road)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
60kg Gary McKenna (Old School)
64kg Aiden Walsh (Holy Family)
75kg Conor Wallace (St Monica’s)
91kg Steven Ward (Monkstown