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Twitter Reacts As Ireland’s Joe Ward Is Forced To Settle For World Silver In Hamburg

Ireland’s Joe Ward had to settle for world silver in Hamburg on Saturday evening, as his frequent tormentorย Julio Cรฉsar La Cruz turned in another frustratingly elusive display to once again deny the Irishman gold.

Ward came out very aggressively from the opening bell and soon bungled La Cruz to the canvas, but the referee waved his arms and signaled that a knockdown had not occurred. Ward continued to pour forward, but the Westmeath southpaw struggled to land cleanly on the Cuban, whose hands dangled tauntingly below his knees. Though he rarely landed anything hurtful, La Cruz picked his spots to counter and tapped Ward with enough scoring shots to take the round.

Ward started the second well. He seemed to find his range early on, landing to both the body and the head. However, as the round wore on, the pair slipped back into the pattern of the previous round, with Ward missing and La Cruz scoring. Ward’s consistent aggression and early success made it a tough stanza to score, though.

Near the beginning of the third, Ward lashed out at La Cruz with a wild barrage, but missed with every shot. He smiled as La Cruz backtracked, acknowledging the quality of his foe’s evasive movement. La Cruz continued to make Ward hit fresh air and walk the Moate clubman onto counters for the remainder of the round.

In the end, all five judges had La Cruz winning the fight, with three seeing it 29-28 and the other two scoring the fight 30-27 in favour of the 28-year-old.

This is the third straight AIBA World Championships in which Ward has fallen to La Cruz. In 2013, he was eliminated by the Cuban at the semi-final stage in Almaty, while two years ago in Doha he was beaten in the final. There is no shame in losing out to La Cruz, however. He is the reigning Olympic champion and this win secured him a fourth straight world gold.

Ward might have come up just short of gold for a second time at the toughest tournament in amateur boxing, but at 23 he has already accumulated an astounding array of hardware. The talented lefty has won world junior and youth titles, three European senior golds, and three medals – two silvers and a bronze – at the world seniors. With age on his side, chances are that Ward will have another shot at world glory before his amateur career comes to a close.

Here is a sample of the reaction on Twitter…

Author: The PA Team

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