Heart break for Walker – #2 seed loses Olympic qualifying bout

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Kurt Walker suffered shocked defeat in London tonight.

The Belfast fighter was just three successful rounds away from a seat on the plane to Tokyo 2020, but came out second best in a tight clash with his German counterpart.

As a decorated amateur the Canal BC puncher was expected to defeat Hamsat Shadolov particularly with a Tokyo 2020 57kg ticket on the line.

However, things didn’t go as expected for the European Championships and Commonwealth Games medal winner.

Walker and Russia-born Shadolov were involved in a see-saw battle with the German feather taking the first two untidy rounds.

Walker won the third but Shadolov had enough in the bank to claim the final Tokyo 2020 place on offer in the evening session.

Earlier in the day Team Captain Brendan Irvine did manage to qualify for the 34th Olympiad.

The ‘Wee Rooster’, was in dominant form against tough Hungarian flyweight Istavan Szaka. Irvine found the target with just about every shot in the book, but Szaka, to his credit, refused to back down and kept coming forward.

The scoreboard, however, told its own tale with Irvine winning by a wide margin on four of the five cards to become a two time Olympian.

Meanwhile Michael Nevin beat Dutch middleweight Max Van Der Pas in the last bout of the early session.

The Laois fighter countered well in all three rounds to earn a 4-1 split decision.

Van Der Pas picked up a facial cut after an accidental clash of heads in the second, with Nevin finishing out the bout on the front foot en route to a deserved victory.

Aidan Walsh cruised into the last 16 at the expense of Pavel Kamanin in London.

The Antrim welter earned a unanimous decision over the game Estonian who struggled to cut down the space between himself and the Commonwealth finalist in all three rounds.

Walsh caught his opponent with some slick counters throughout, but two big backhands in the second round, the first of which rocked Kamanin, were the pick of his punches.

Carly McNaul bowed out of the 43-nation event this afternoon.

The Belfast flyweight dropped a unanimous decision to Charley Davison of Team GB in the last 16 of the tournament.

McNaul fought bravely throughout but was left with a mountain to climb after losing the first two rounds to the slick English southpaw who forced the Ulster orthodox into two standing counts in the third.

dpg

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com