Golden Girl – Lisa O’Rourke wins European U22 GOLD
Lisa O’Rourke is the champion of Europe.
The young talent got a busy day of top-end Irish amateur boxing off to a golden start, quite literally.
The European Youth bronze medal winner earned European Under-22 light middleweight gold and a top podium finish with victory over Daria Parada Porec, Croatia today.
The Pole pushed the younger sister of Olympian and European Elite gold medal, Aoife O’Rourke, all the way but the Connaught prospect took a split decision win to claim Ireland’s first gold in this year’s Euro U22 innings.
O’Rourke won the first clear thanks to some top-class boxing and battling, her aggressive opponent made more of a fight of it in the second and third and it seemed a case of whether you liked the cleaner work of the Irish fighter or the volume approach of Poland’s champion.
Parada pushed forward for three minutes but O’Rourke became that bit more elusive to win the round, get the od and go one further step further than her sister in what has acted as a senior elite level breakout competition in recent years.
Lisa O'Rourke fighting for European U22 light middleweight gold this afternoon— Joe O'Neill (@J0E_90) March 22, 2022
Has been playing in midfield for @RoscommonLGFA in the League this year, scoring a goal v Down just last month pic.twitter.com/sAxNJI3gKR
The Castlerea native started fast and quickly found range and rhythm, she fired straight shots from her toes, used a check left hook to play matador to a fighter that was bulling forward, found a home for a long right-hand hook, and whipped to the body any time her opponent managed to pin her to the ropes.
The Pole did close the distance better as the stanza progressed but it was an O’Rourke round.
The Olympic Galway talent looked to get up on her toes more in the second and looked a little less compact as a result. She was landing scoring shots but Pukkila was closing the distance that bit better and let her hands go once in range.
The Irish fighter made sure the Pole found it harder to get within scoring range in the third. It was a similar approach to the second but had an exit plan in place every time she landed this time round.
Parada kept applying pressure but rather than hold her feet when she landed she was on the move.
The batton now passes to Niamh Fay who fights Sharon Prisco in the 54kg decider and will look to add under-22 gold to the European Youth gold medal she won previously.
Middleweight and European Youth gold medalist, Aoibe Carabine also fights in the evening sessions, she faces Ukrainian Karolina Makhno as she looks for another top of the podium continental finish.