Heartbreak for Walker in Baku

After a successful morning with Myles Casey and Darren O’Neill making the Round of 16, the Irish team hit their first speed bump this afternoon with the elimination of Kurt Walker.

The Canal BA fighter lost out via split decision to the talented Russian, Bahktovar Nazirov.

Nazirov had narrowly defeated Walker back in 2012 (by just a point under the old scoring system) – and the Lisburn man will have to wait to exact this revenge after another razor-thin reversal.

Walker can however leave Baku with his head held high after a sterling effort in the final round. Trailing 20-18 on two scorecards and drawing on the other, Walker decisively won the third round -but in the end he fell agonisingly short.

Still only 20 years old, the inaugural European Games will have been a great learning experience for Walker who will soon step up into the void left by Mick Conlan post-Rio 2016.

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