22 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Kenneth Egan vowed to be the first Irishman into the ring in Beijing and the last man to come out of it – and he delivered on is promise in typically stylish fashion on Friday, by booking his place in the final of the light-heavyweight category with a commanding 10-3 win over Tony Jeffries.
Dubliner Egan produced yet another sublime display to move to within one victory of gold, moving up through the gears after a cautious opening round to sweept his British opponent aside.
Indeed, the Neilstown fighter was simply content to feel out Jeffries in the opening stanza, which ended with the pair deadlocked at one point apiece, but he assumed control in the second, racking up three unanswered points with a fine left hand and two superb straight rights.
By the halfway point, Egan was in complete control. He was moving with his customary grace and poise on the outside and landing freely as The Fields of Athenry rang around the Workers Gymnasium.
Egan ended the third 9-1 up after registering five more points without any reply from Jeffries. His movement and footwork was just too good for the Sunderland man, who was, quite simply, out of his depth against such an accomplished fighter.
Jeffries did manage to at least nick the final round 2-1 but the fight was long over at that point and Egan had already turned his attention to Sundays gold medal decider against Chinas Xiaoping Zhang and a shot at immortality.