Aoife O’Rourke put her name up in lights Katie Taylor style in Madrid tonight.
The Roscommon fighter now joins the Irish sporting legend as the one of only two Irish females to have won European Women’s Championship gold.
O’Rourke claimed her top of the podium finish with victory over Polish southpaw Elziebta Wojcik, a win which now means she can herself the best amateur middleweight on the Continent.
The Westerner has impressed throughout the tournament and boxed exceptionally against Russian Olympic Youth and World Youth champion Anastasia Shamonova at the semi final stage.
However, the final win was as much about will as skill. O’Rourke brought the fight to Wojcik and was determined to work whether it be from range or when being tied up on the inside.
It wasn’t always pretty but it was pretty dominant from the middleweight and she was awarded a unanimous points win.
It was clear the Castlerea BC fighter wasn’t happy to settle for silver from the off. She set about setting a high pace and was by far the busier boxer. Her opponent did land some quality southpaw backhands in the latter stages, but was warned for holding and it didn’t appear as if she had done enough to win the round.
The Pole made it sloppy in the second and was warned again for holding among other offences. O’Rourke seemed unperturbed and asserted a dominance nonetheless. The fact it wasn’t going to be pretty didn’t mean it couldn’t be effective. She threw and landed with regularity on the inside and two big right hands midway through the round looked to have hurt her opponent.
I don’t think Russia look too happy, but Roscommon has a European champion in Aoife O’Rourke pic.twitter.com/qsmtS5UBzw
— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) August 31, 2019
The third was sloppy on occasion and hard to score. O’Rourke certainly wasn’t lacking in effort, she didn’t allow her foe the distance she wanted to box in a round were the referee could be heard as often as a vocal Irish support. Yet still it remained a hard round to score due to it’s stop start nature.
O’Rourke’s win now means Ireland take home two medals from a tournament to which they only sent four fighters. Christina Desmond and Ciere Smith both exited at the quarter-final stage, while Amy Broadhurst and O’Rourke bring home bronze and gold respectively.