Former European and European Union champions Joe Ward and David Oliver Joyce ensured that Ireland will be involved in final mix at the 41st Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany.
The Moate BC and St Michael’s Athy BC duo recorded impressive semi-finals wins this afternoon and evening to book their tickets into Saturday’s finals and guarantee themselves of at least a silver medal each.
Ward, a gold medal winner at the 2012 Chemistry Cup aged 18, beat Germany’s Igor Teziev on a unanimous decision today.
Click here for Saturday’s finals program in Saxony-Anhalt.
Ward will now meet Kazakh light-heavy Adilbek Niyazymbetov – who is currently ranked No.1 in the World in the 81kg class by AIBA – in Saturday’s final.
Niyazymbetov was beaten on a count back by Russia’s Egor Mekhonstev – who Ward beat in the 2012 Chemistry Cup final – in the 2012 Olympic final in London after a 15-15 draw.
The Kazakh lost the 2013 AIBA World final in Almaty, Kazakhstan to Cuba’s Julio Cesar De La Cruz, who beat Ward in the semi-finals in Almaty, on a split decision.
Joyce, who dominated against Bulgarian lightweight Elian Dimitrov tonight, is also facing a formidable challenge tomorrow as he’s slated to go three rounds with 2013 AIBA World bronze medallist Berik Abdrakhmanov, also of Kazakhstan, who is ranked No. 3 in the World in the 60kg class.
Stephen Donnelly will be taking home bronze from Halle. The Irish Elite champion bowed out at the semi-final stage on a split decision this evening despite an heroic performances against Germany’s Abass Baraou in the welterweight class.
“Stephen was absolutely outstanding. He gave it everything in one of the fights of the tournament, said Irish coach Eddie Bolger.
“Joe and David performed very well in their semi-finals. They will have two tough finals against quality opposition tomorrow, but their confidence will be high as they both won twice over the last twenty four hours.”