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Aoife O’Rourke beats former world champ to win Strandja GOLD

Aoife O’Rourke has been crowned the middleweight champion of the 73rd Strandja International Tournament.

The Olympian won gold in Bulgaria thanks to a unanimous decision final win.
The Roscommon hero defeated Atheyna Bylon of Panama over three rounds. Showing her dominance over the taller southpaw and former AIBA Women’s World Champion, O’Rourke haded Bylon a standing count in the second round.

The Olympic BC Galway fighter joined Kellie Harrington as an Irish gold medal winner after the judges afforded her a 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 win.

Harrington claimed lightweight gold to by Serbia’s Natalia Shadrina earlier in the day.

The Strandja Memorial is Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament and, having first been staged in Sofia in 1950. This year, podium finishers earn prize money, and can earn new world ranking points.

Team Ireland Squad:

F48kg Shannon Sweeney

F50kg Caitlin Fryers

F52kg Carly McNaul

F57kg Michaela Walsh

F60kg Kellie Harrington

F70kg Christina Desmond

F75kg Aoife O’Rourke

57kg Adam Hession

60kg JP Hale

63.5kg Dean Clancy

67kg Eugene McKeever

71kg Luke Maguire

80kg Kelyn Cassidy

92kg+ Thomas Maughan

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: