London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan and Brendan Irvine, both current Irish Elite champions, kicked off the St Patrick’s day celebrations 48 hours early with a double gold win at the Gee Bee Multi-Nations in Helsinki, Finland today.
Nolan beat England’s Chris Mbwakongo on a unanimous decision. The Wexford-born welter, a team-mate of Katie Taylor at the Bray BC, also scooped the Fighter of the Tournament Award.
Antrim light-fly Irvine, who claimed his first Irish Elite belt this year, got Ireland off to a winning start in the first male final of the 17-nation tournament with a split decision over Bulgaria’s Tinko Banabakov.
But Limerick’s Myles Casey, who also won his first Elite crown in 2015, was edged out on a split decision by Kazakhstan’s Azat Makhmetov.
Derry middleweight Conor Coyle also had to settle for silver following a unanimous verdict reversal to Van der Pas Max.
Overall, Ireland will be bringing home two gold, two silver and two bronze medals from the 34th edition of the tournament.
“It’s fantastic to bring six boxers to a tournament and win six medals,” said Irish team manager Peter Donnelly, a view echoed by Irish head coach Billy Walsh, who was working Ireland’s corner with Noel Burke in Helsinki.
“Adam went into the trenches today. He had to battle for it and he showed he really wanted it. It was an excellent performance and he also picked up the award, said Irish chief seconds.
“Brendan boxed brilliantly and capped a fine tournament with gold and Myles has come on in leaps and bounds. I thought that Kurt was unlucky to lose on a split decision to the English lad who won the best boxer award
“We’re very happy to win six medals. It was a great team performance all round this week.”
The Irish squad are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 6:15pm tomorrow, March 16th.
34th Gee Bee Multi-Nations Helsinki, Finland
March 13th Q/Finals
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Di Savino Allessio (Italy) 3-0
69kg Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Sissokho Youba (Spain) 2-1
75kg Conor Coyle (Ireland) beat Troy Williamson (England) 2-1
March 14th S/Finals
49kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland beat Nikita Tomilov (Russia) 2-1 – (30-27,29-28,28-29)
52kg Myles Casey (Ireland) beat Gabriel Escobar (Spain) 2-1 – (30-27, 27-30,29-28)
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Peter McGrail (England) 1-2 – (27-30,29-28,28-29)
60kg George Bates (Ireland) lost to Francesco Maietta (Italy) 1-2 – (27-30,29-28,28-29)
69kg Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Oliver Flodin (Sweden) 2-1 – (30-27,28-29,29-28)
75kg Conor Coyle (Ireland) beat Hari Kujala (Finland) 2-1 – (29-28,29-28,27-30)
March 15th Finals
49kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Tinko Banabakov (Bulgaria) 2-1 – (30-27,30-27,28-29)
52kg Myles Casey (Ireland) lost to Azat Makhmetov (Kazakhstan) 1-2 – (27-30,29-28,27-30)
69kg Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Chris Mbwakongo (England) 3-0 (30-27,29-28,29-28)
75kg Conor Coyle (Ireland) lost to Max Van der Pas Max (Netherland) 0-3 ( 27-30,27-30,27-30)
Fighter of the Tournament: Adam Nolan (Ireland)
49kg: Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s Antrim) (Gold)
52kg: Myles Casey (St Francis) (Silver)
56kg: Kurt Walker (Canal) (Bronze)
60kg: George Bates (St Marys) (Bronze)
69kg: Adam Nolan (Bray) (Gold)
75kg: Conor Coyle (St Josephs, Derry) (Silver)
Team manager: Peter Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh & Noel Burke
R&J: Ben McGarrigle