After a dramatic last 16 fight, Tipperary’s Dean Gardiner is now just one win away from securing a medal at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In a see-saw battle with Italy’s Guido Vianelli, ‘Breakfast’ emerged victorious via unanimous decision (29-28 x3). The Munster super heavyweight was down in the first round before giving his Italian opponent a count in the second.
With it all square going into the final stanza, Gardiner and his potent right hand outworked Vianello and sealed a sweet victory.
Indeed the win was especially sweet considering that it also doubled as a measure of revenge for Gardiner who was narrowly beaten in the quarter finals of last year’s EU Championships in Sofia by Vianello – and thus was denied a medal.
Gardiner now faces a quarter final bout with France’s Tony Yoka, a Youth Olympic gold and World Youth silver medalist as well as a fighter on the AIBA Pro Boxing circuit. This clash is scheduled to take place on Monday at 17:30 Irish time.