Dean Walsh controversially defeated in Baku

Wexford light welterweight Dean Walsh today made his exit from the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The St. Joseph’s/St. Ibar’s boxer was beaten in the quarter finals via unanimous decision by Kastriot Sopa of Germany (27-29 x3). Walsh however can consider himself slightly unlucky after a scrappy bout in which he fell afoul of a somewhat inconsistent referee.

Sopa undoubtedly won the first round after outworking Walsh. The German however showed glimpses of ill-discipline, hitting Walsh while he was on the canvas after a slip as well as hitting on the break.

Walsh started the second a lot better and was winning before having a point deducted for use of the head. This deduction was harsh, especially considering the continued warnings against Sopa which went unpunished. The nature of the bout flipped upside down, Walsh entered the final round a point down and chased admirably but was edged out.

While he boxed impressively in his two bouts in the Games, Walsh’s search for a first major international medal continues after yet another controversial quarter final exit. The 20 year old will now end to break his duck at the European Championships in Sofia this August.

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: