Joe Ward failed in his bid to land light-heavyweight gold at the AIBA World Boxing Championships after Cuba’s Julio Cesar la Cruz defeated the Irishman in Doha.
Ward, 21, showed his aggression from the start, but was outfoxed by the Cuban’s defensive work as La Cruz won by unanimous decision over three rounds.
La Cruz was leading in the first and second rounds, even though Ward was able to land a few blows of his own. By the time Ward found his groove in the third it appeared too late, although the Cuban did need attention for a cut above his eye.
However, La Cruz was able to see out the fight largely untroubled, winning his third world medal in the process.
Ward’s displays at the World Boxing Championships mean he has secured his berth at the Rio Olympics next year.
Ward said on www.rte.ie: “Overall, it’s been a great championships. I’m going back (to Ireland) with a silver medal and going to Rio.
“I’m going to learn from this now and all I can do is get better and improve with that fight and see how we go in the Olympic Games.”
Michael Conlan was crowned Ireland’s first men’s AIBA world champion on Wednesday after a unanimous points victory over Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev in their bantamweight final.