The last man standing couldn’t make that final medal step.
Kelyn Cassidy’s exciting World Championship journey is over as he exited the tournament in Belgrade tonight.
The Waterford light heavyweight got to within touching distance of medal but couldn’t find passage past the talented Aliaksei Alfiorau and onto the podium.
Although Alfiorau came into the clash battered and bruised from his last 16 encounter he was able to outfight and outbox the emerging Saviors Crystal talent.
The Belarus fighter took the first round via an aggressive display before mixing it up to take the second and boxing on the back foot to win the third, earning himself a unanimous points win in the process.
Cassidy will be disappointed tonight, especially considering he was just one win away from writing his name into Irish boxing folklore but upon reflection, he will be happy with his 2021.
He came from out of the blue to win the Irish title and impressed the High Performance enough to get selected to represent his country at the World Championships.
Once in Serbia, he proved his world credentials becoming the only Irish fighter to register a victory, securing two Elite International wins, one of which came against an Olympian to reach the quarter-final stages.
Possibly just as important the 24-year-old also secured the kind of funding that should really help his Olympic hopes.
Beidh an Déiseach Kelyn Cassidy ag troid anocht i mbabhta ceathrú ceannais an #AIBAWCHS2021 🥊— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) November 2, 2021
Go néirí leat @kelynncassidy 💙 🤍 ☘
Seo mar a labhair sé linn ar @TG4TV an mhí seo caite ar Dornálaíocht Beo 👇@IABABOXING @sportireland #IrishBoxing #Boxing #UptheDeise pic.twitter.com/yGFNezvj1M
The back foot boxers both held their feet early doors with Alfiorua particularly aggressive. It seemed to catch the Waterford man off guard and he ate some jabs and backhands resulting in a busted nose, which had to be inspected by the doctor. As the round progressed the blue corner fighter also started to mark up, his injuries from his last 16 clash showing. Cassidy did land a solid left on the bell but ultimately the round was scored across the board in favour of the Belarussian.
The second was a closer affair as Cassidy seemed to get to grips with his awkward foes style, but the World youth medal winner still did enough to win the stanza and basically put one foot into the semis.
With a last-round stoppage the only thing that could rob the talented European U22 medal winner of a medal, he was happy to go on the back foot in the final session.
He had his eye checked early on prompting him to elect against any real form of engaging. He danced, flicked the jab, and even found time to showboat. Cassidy seemed to force the action but again it was scored across the board in the Beluras fighter’s favour and he took a clean sweep win.
IBA World Elite Championships Belgrade Serbia
October 25th (Last 64)
67kh Eugene McKeever (Ireland) lost to Asadhuja Muydinkhajaev (Uzbekistan) 0-5
October 26th (Last 32)
51kg Sean Mari (Ireland) lost to Aitila Bernath (Hungary) 1-4
63kg Brandon McCarthy (Ireland) lost to Gianluligi Malanga (Italy) 0-5
October 27th (Last 64)
60kg JP Hale (Ireland) lost to Semiz Alicic (Serbia) 0-5
October 28th (Last 32)
57kg Adam Hession (Ireland) lost to Eduard Savvin (Russia Boxing Federation) 1-4
October 30th Last 32)
48kg Rickey Nesbitt (Ireland) lost to Nodrjon Mirakhmador (Uzbekistan) 0-5
80kg Keyln Cassidy (Ireland beat Arriaga Olvera (Mexico) 5-0
80kg Kelyn Cassidy (Ireland) beat Shabbas Negmatulloev (Tajikistan) 5-0
80kg Keylan Cassidy (ireland) v TBA
48 kg. Ricky Nesbitt (Holy Family)
51 kg. Sean Mari (Monkstown)
57 kg. Adam Hession (Monieva)
60 kg. JP Hale (Star)
63kg. Brandon McCarthy (St Michaels Athy)
67 kg. Eugene McKeever (Holy Family)
80 Kg. Kelyn Cassidy (St Saviors/ Crystal)
IABA President, Dom O’Rourke
Team manager, Peter O’Donnell
Coaches, Zaur Antia, Dmitry Dimitruk, Eoin Pluck