19 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Less than two hours after Paddy Barnes progressed into the last four of the Olympics, Irish team captain Kenny Egan followed suit, completely outclassing Washington Silva in an amazingly one-sided light-heavyweight quarter-final in Beijing on Wednesday.
As soon as the draw was made on Friday week, Egan always looked like a good bet for a medal and he will now be targeting a gold after assuring himself of at least a bronze with a terrific 8-0 win over Silva.
The 26-year-old Dubliner began in tremendously confident fashion. He controlled the first round from start to finish, racking up three unanswered points, all three of which came courtesy of his powerful left hand.
Silva looked completely incapable of dealing with Egan’s vastly superior hand speed and his attempts to get on the inside also looked doomed to failure.
Egan continued to box within himself during the second. The classy southpaw was in absolutely no rush, merely content to wait for Silva to make mistakes. Hardly surprising, then, that the second passed off without a score.
One would have expected Silva to try and up his work-rate in the third and pile on the pressure but he just could not make any kind of impression on Egan’s defence. The Brazilian looked slow, ponderous and awfully one-dimensional.
Egan, by complete contrast, was boxing quite magnificently, moving well and landing at will, and he ended the third an incredible seven points up after connecting with a number of cracking rights and some solid left hands in the final minute of the round.
The fight was effectively over. The only hope for Silva was that he might land a lucky punch which might catch Egan cold. However, the Irishman was never going to let such a fate befall him and he coasted through to a semi-final showdown with Tony Jeffries.