Joe Ward advanced to the light-heavyweight final at the 39th Chemistry Cup following a convincing win over Carlos Gongora of Ecuador in Halle, Germany tonight.
The Moate BC southpaw forced Gongora into a standing count in the second en route to a 15-8 win and his third victory in three days.
The 18-year-old European champion will now meet Russia’s Egor Mekhonstev, a gold medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Senior Championships, in Saturday’s 81Kg final.
Ward is ranked number three in the AIBA World rankings, and Mekhonstev,also a southpaw, is ranked 4th going into the St Patrick’s Day decider.
Meanwhile, Paddy Barnes, London 2012 Olympian Michael Conlan, David Oliver Joyce and Adam Nolan had to settle for Chemistry Cup bronze following semi-final reversals.
Belfast flyweight Conlan was desperately unlucky to lose out to Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia on a countback following a 15-15 tie earlier today.
Joyce forced Robson Conceicao into a standing count in the second, but the Brazilian lightweight emerged with a 17-10 decision.
Barnes, the 2010 European champion, was involved in a tight battle with Hamza Touba. The German light-flyweight took the first round 4-2 and was 11-7 up going into the third.
Barnes came storming back in the final frame, but Touba held out to secure a 15-12 win.
Nolan, who boxes out of the Bray BC, also lost to a German opponent, Arayk Marutjan earning a 21-14 decision.
Ireland will be taking home at least one silver and four bronze medals from the 20-nation tournament.
Saturday’s finals begin at 10am (Irish time).