King of the ring - Ward secures third European crown

Joe Ward arriving back in Dublin Airport with his gold medal. Photo: EOin Noonan/Sportsfile

Joe Ward arriving back in Dublin Airport with his gold medal. Photo: EOin Noonan/Sportsfile

Moate slugger Joe Ward claimed an unprecedented third European gold medal last Saturday at the European Championships in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The Moate southpaw claimed gold after defeating Russian Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in the light heavyweight final, adding to the titles he won in 2011 and 2015.

Ward's comfortable semi-final win over the injured Valentino Manfredonia set him up nicely for the final, and it was the Moate man who started the latter bout in a more composed fashion. Ward drew the Russian in and encouraged him to throw shots before countering with his south paw left hook.

Ward was caught with some nice hooks by the Russian in the second, but also replied with some solid hooks of his own in what was a closer round on the scorecards.

The Westmeath fighter utilised his jabs in the final round, with Gadzhimagomedov struggling to land his shots. As time ticked away, the Russian came forward more, throwing wild hooks. Ward remained composed, controlling the fight with his jab until the final bell.

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