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Afanasev’s Olympic Dream Kirrill’ed by talented Spaniard

Kirill Afanasev’s Olympic dream is over.

The Smithfield boxer exited the European Olympic Qualifiers in Paris this afternoon as he was whitewashed by the talented Emmanuel Reyes.

Afanasev wasn’t outclassed or embarrassed but never really looked like upsetting the Cuban convert who is being hyped as Spain’s best boxer for 30-years.

Afanasev traveled to Paris needing two wins to secure qualification and needed to progress past the last 16 to have any hope of taking advantage of a slim back door rankings chance. He fell at the first hurdle and as a result, he can’t pursue either route to Tokyo.

The Team Ireland heavyweight pressed the action against the highly fancied Spaniard in the first. Reyes looked comfortable on the back foot and did land some nice combinations. All in all, it looked a tight round prompting real suprise when Reyes won the stanza across the board with a 10-8 thrown in for good measure.

Spain’s great medal hope found his rythm in the second and showed moments of class. It wasn’t complete domination but there was little doubt it was a Reyes round, meaning Afanasev needed a knockout going into the final stanza.

The Smithfield BC fighter was full of effort in the third, pressing forward and landing some clean right hands. However, a flowing Reyes looked a level above and the stoppage needed never looked on the cards. As a results, Afanasev, 29 will not be going to Tokyo.

The result means Ireland, who were unbeaten in the opening day, are still looking for a victory on day 2, as George Bates missed out on Olympic qualification earlier in the afternoon.

Ireland have three more chances of getting fighter on the plane to Tokyo today. Aoife O’Rourke, Kellie Harrington and Emmett Brennan could all qualify for the Games with victory in the evening session in Paris.

Gytis Lisinskas versus Peter Belberov of Bulgaria are in last 16 action will be the last Irish bout before the break.

The evening session hosts a mouthwatering clash between Harrington and reigning IBF world champion Maiva Hamadouche. Emmett Brennan fights Luka Plantic of Croatia, Aoife O’Rourke takes of Elzbieta Wojik of Poland, and two time Olympian Brendan Irvine will be looking to improve his seeding in his contest.

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: