Gráinne Walsh wallops her way to the quarters with knockout win

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Offaly welterweight Gráinne Walsh grabbed Ireland’s first win at the European Championships in Sofia this afternoon with a destructive knockout win.

Following two losses, Ireland were in need of a boost, and that is exactly what Walsh did.

The Spartacus fighter took on experienced Serb Marija Petovic, and dominated throughout forcing a stoppage in the third round.

Walsh floored her opponent heavily in the first 30 seconds before forcing an additional standing count, with every shot she landed seemingly jarring her Balkan foe.

Giving an exhibition on how to deal with a taller fighter, Walsh continued to hammer away at Petovic in the second round.

With her opponent looking exhausted, Walsh forced a stoppage in the penultimate round, cornering her with some fleet footwork before unleashing a sustained, unanswered, barage that gave the referee no choice but to step in.

Walsh now marches in to the quarter finals and is just one win away from a medal. Here she will need to get past Russian 2014 World Championships silver medalist Saadat Abdulayev.

European Women’s Championships Sofia, Bulgaria
(Last 16 bouts unless stated)
November 15th
54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Lacramiora Perijoc (Romania) 0-3

November 16th
48kg Lauren Hogan (Ireland) lost to Katerina Pinigiana (Russia) 0-3
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Marija Petovic (Serbia) RSC3

November 17th
60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland)

November 18th
57kg Moira McElliggot (Ireland) v Sara Beram (Croatia)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aleksandra Ordina (Russia) or Lina Skoghgen (Sweden)

November 20th
Q/Final
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Oksana Trofimova (Russia)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Saadat Abdulaeva (Russia)

Irish Squad
48kg Lauren Hogan (St.Brigids Edenderry)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
57kg Moira McElliggot (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Glasnevin)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)

Team manager: Noreen Glendening
Physio: Caoimhe Gilmore
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Dmitri Dimitruc
R&J: Sadie Duffy

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie