Belfast’s Michael Conlan eased to within one victory of a third successive belt at the Elite Championships at Dublin’s National Stadium on Friday night.
The AIBA World No. 3 ranked flyweight recorded a landslide 30-14 semi-final victory over his fellow Belfast fighter Ruairi Dalton.
Conlan will now face the winner of Saturday night’s fight between Hugh Joyce and Chris Phelan
Last night’s outing was Conlan’s first competitive contest in Ireland since winning bronze at London 2012 - and the two-time champion wants to get his hands on a third Irish title.
“I was happy with that win because we’re old rivals. He’ll never beat me. I’m a bit angry with him because we were mates, kind of,” he said.
“I’d beaten him four times, but in the ring he was giving me a bit of lip, calling me all kinds of bad names. I just laughed it off. It was 30-14? I predicted I’d score 30 against him.
“I’ll probably have a tougher fight in the final, Chris Phelan or Hughie Joyce. I can’t see Chris losing because he’s a really good boxer.
“We’ve fought twice already but it will be 3-0 over Chris. Which means three three Irish titles.
Meanwhile, Ryston BC Hugh Myres is on the cusp of claiming the vacant light-flyweight belt following last night’s 17-10 victory over Adam Courtney.
And the 49kg belt is lying idle at these Championships after two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes withdrew with the flu.
And Belfast’s Sean McComb beat Eric Donovan by a pointin this all southpaw battle.