Last night’s third and final stop on USA Boxing’s 2018 USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour ended in a 4-4 draw at Downtown Manchester Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire. Team USA won the team tour title, 2-0-1.
Team USA had won the first two duals of the tour in Boston and Springfield, respectively, by scores of 8-4 and 7-3.
“We learned from this tour that we’re right up there with the best teams in the world,” Team USA head coach Billy Walsh said. “Team Ireland is a very good, young team. We’re going to have a good team to send to Tokyo (2020 Olympics). I’m proud of my team. They all worked very hard. We didn’t have some of our best boxers because some were competing in an International tournament We do have a good crop of 18-19-20 year-olds who will make up our 2020 Olympic team.”
Team Ireland led last night’s team scoring, 4-3, going into the final match of the night, a super heavyweight rematch. The 2016 Youth World Championships bronze medalist Richard Torrez once again defeated there-time Irish National Champion Dean Gardiner,
Third time was the charm for Brooklyn middleweight Nikita Ababiy, who broke into the win column with a 3-0 unanimous decision over Gerard French, keeping the Americans hope alive to deadlock the final score with one match to go.
In a battle between southpaw welterweights, nine-time Irish National Champion and World Championships bronze medalist, Kieron Molloy took a 2-1 split decision over Freudis Rojas, Jr., a 10-time national champion and World Championships bronze medalist.
Irish light welterweight Caoimhin Ferguson won a 2-1 split decision victory over California light welterweight Charlie Sheey to give Team Ireland a 3-2 advantage.
Eight-time Irish National champion and European Championships bronze medalist Wayne Kelley won a 2-1 split decision versus Cincinnati light welterweight Adrian Benton, the 13-time national champion making his International match debut.
In his International debut, two-time USA Boxing champion James Browning won a 2-1 decision over Irish lightweight Francis Cleary, a nine-time Irish National champion and European Championships silver medalist, in a very entertaining lightweight match.
No. 2-rated American middleweight Leah Cooper dropped her opponent, eight-time National Irish National champion and European Championships bronze medalist Adolfe Burke, en route to a 3-0 unanimous decision.
World Championship silver medalist Kellie Harrington defeated lightweight Stacia Suttles for the second time on the tour by the identical score, 3-0, giving Team Ireland its first lead of the tour, albeit temporary, in last night’s tour opener.
In a Special Manchester Lightweight novice class match, Michael Correa (Manchester PAL) defeated Abhisek Thapa (Title Boxing) when the referee stopped the contest in the opening round.
Complete individual & team results:
(tour records in parenthesis)
Richard Torrez, Tulare, California, USA
Dean Gardiner, Tipperary, Ireland
Nikita Ababiy (1-2), Brooklyn, New York, USA
Gerard French (0-2), Antrim, Ireland
Kieron Molloy (2-0), Galway, Ireland
Freudis Rojas, Jr. (0-1), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Caoimhin Ferguson (1-1), Antrim, Ireland
Charley Sheehy (1-1), Brisbane, California, USA
Wayne Kelley (1-1), Westmeath, Ireland
Adrian Benton (0-1), Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
James Browning (1-0), Tempe, Arizona, USA
Francis Cleary (0-2, Mayo, Ireland
Leah Cooper (1-0), Ozone Park, New York, USA
Aolfe Burke (0-1), Dublin, Ireland
Kellie Harrington (2-0), Dublin, Ireland
Stacia Suttles (0-2), Bronx, New York, USA
SPECIAL NEW HAMPSHIRE LIGHTWEIGHT NOVICE MATCH
Michael Correa, Manchester PAL, Manchester, NH
Abhisek Thapa, Title Boxing, Manchester, NH