Dean Gardiner gets Team Ireland off to a flying start in Bulgaria

Clonmel BC super heavyweight Dean Gardiner got Ireland of to a winning start at the 41st European Amateur Boxing Championships in Samokov, Bulgaria, this afternoon.

First out for the Irish, ‘Breakfast’ was facing Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Abdul Naser Delalic in the round of 32.

After a tight first round, Gardiner began to take control in the second. The 27 year old Tipp boxer kept his range well as his Balkan opponent grew ragged.

Towards the end of the second round Gardiner connected with a massive right that floored his opponent – who, to his credit, was able to continue.

Delalic came out swinging in the third – and did catch Gardiner once or twice – but the big man reasserted control and continually hurt his opponent who was lucky to survive to the final bell.

Gardiner will now face Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic in the Round of 16. Hrgovic is a star of the World Series of Boxing, and comes to these championships as the #1 seed.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: