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Going for Gold – Cliona D’Arcy upgrades to silver at least

Cliona D’Arcy will go for gold on World Youth Championships final day.

The Gort heavyweight swapped her bronze medal for silver at least with semi-final victory in La Nucia today.

The Tobar Pheadair, Galway, boxer renewed rivalry against  Poland’s Weronika Maja Bochen. The two last met at the same stage in the European Youth Championships in Bulgaria in April. D’arcy was the victor then, and history repeated today – the judges scored the 5-0 bout 30:27, 30:26, 30:27, 30:26, 29:28.

The European Champion is now just one win away from being able to lay claim to being the best Youth fighter at her weight in the world.

The teen prospect was the only Irish fighter to enjoy success across an action packed semi finals day in Spain.

Nathan Ojo didn’t enjoy the same success and exited the tournament after defeat to Cuban’s number 1 under-18 talent.

There wasn’t much between either fighter in the first round, both were patient and picking their shots. The judges felt Ronny Noa of Cuba picked his shots better giving him the nod 4-1.

The first minute of the second session was equally as cagey, so much so that the referee stepped in and instructed both to throw some leather. The remainder of the round saw more action, Ojo was in and out more, happy to slip inside and let his hands go, but his Cuban foe also enjoyed success.

The Lucan fighter won the round on two of the three cards meaning he went into the last down on three cards, level on one and up and one.

The last stanza was Ojo’s best, he looked full of confidence and showed plenty of endeavour. The long wait for the scorecards gave Irish fans hope but Noa was eventually confirmed as the winner.

Jim Donovan lost a technical skills battle to Nurkeb Mursal two fights previous. The Munster man wasn’t over-awed by the Kazch and matched him for the most part, even bettered him on occasion but eventually lost via split decision.

Donovan put his ‘google powered boxing brain’ to use early and was the first of the two technicians to find his distance and range.

He made the taller opponent fall short while making him pay, he did operate off the back foot, which allowed his opponent to look a little more aggressive, something three of the five judges liked.

The OLOL talent held his feet more in the second and it allowed him to bring his backhand into play more. He landed some eye-catching shots and put himself into victory pole with a 4-1 round win.

The final round was tense, tight and somewhat tentative, Donovan did show flashes of real class but the Kazch stole it and progressed on a scoreline via 3-2 split.

Lee McEvoy was another who fell at the quarterfinal hurdle tripped by Georgia’s Gocha Gordulava in fighter versus boxer bout.

The clash of styles became apparent from the off, the squat aggressive Georgian against the long accurate Avona fighter. The judges favoured the blue corner approach and Gordulva won the stanza across the board.

The Georgian found a real rhythm in the second and began to land big, dishing out a standing eight with a long looping right hand to cement another round win.

There will be no gold medal for European champion Dearbhla Tinnelly as she lost an Irish versus English battle to Amber Birch.

The English fighter established her jab early and got the better of the early exchanges. She did taste the power of the Irish Co-Captain in the tail end of the first round and seemed to take a step back.

However, buoyed by an across the board first round win Birch moved through the gears in the second. The pair were similar in size and even skill set but the English fighter was that bit more compact and effective. As a result, she won another round, this time dishing out a standing eight count on the European Champ.

Tinnelly batted throughout the third and at one stage dipped the knees of an opponent she will no doubt meet again and again over the years but couldn’t get the stoppage required to win the fight.

Laura Moran had to settle for bronze after semi-final defeat to a very talented Uzbek in Aziza Zokirova. The Westport fighter was in the fight throughout but ultimately suffered 5-0 reverse. Like Tinnelly leaves Spain with a bronze medal and as World and European Youth medal winner.

Team Ireland Squad

48kg Thady Patsy Joyce, Olympic L, Westmeath

51kg Jack Harkin, Oakleaf BC, Derry

54kg Gavin Ryan, Ratoath BC, Meath

57kg Roy Farrelly, Avona BC, Dublin

60kg Lee McEvoy, Avona BC, Dublin

67kg James Donovan, OLOL, Limerick

71kg Bobbi Flood, Cabra BC, Dublin

75kg TJ King, Phoenix of Ballyboughal, Dublin

80kg Ryan Murphy, Neilstown, Dublin

86kg Nathan Ojo, Esker, Dublin

92kg David McDonagh, Olympic BC, Galway

92+ Bernard Cawley, St. David’s BC, Naas


48kg Georgia McGovern, Setanta L, Kildare

50kg Caoimhe Kinsella, St Anthony’s/Pats, Wexford

52kg Esther Lambe, Setanta L, Kildare

54kg Shakira Donoghue, Templemore, Tipperary

57kg Rebecca Kavanagh, Mulhuddart,

60kg Yasmin Meredith, Corinthians BC, Dublin

63kg Rebecca Collins, Baldoyle, Dublin

66kg Gabrielle Mongan, Whitechurch, Dublin

70kg Laura Moran, St Anne’s, Mayo

81kg Dearbhla Tinnelly, Clann Naofa, Louth

81+kg Cliona D’Arcy, Tobar Pheadair, Galway

Team Manager: Francis Keeling

Team Manager: Bernadette Lannon

Coach: Lynne McEnery

Coach: Michael Mongan

Coach: Liam Cunningham

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: