Jack Marley only made a clean break for the European Games quarter-finals after getting his hands dirty.
The Dublin heavyweight ended his wait to see action when he made his European Games debut in Poland on Monday – and ended a wait to let his hands go full throttle from the second round of his clash with Greek boxer, Vagkan Nanitzanian.
Previous experience thought Marley not to be over-exuberant against Nanitzanian. The Greek fighter ended Marley’s 2022 World Championships after a clash of heads opened up a contest ending cut on the noggin’ of the Sallynoggin fighter.
As a result, he admits he was cautious in the first round of their last 32 battle on Monday. However, when he found himself trailing he knew he had to throw down and he did just that to turn the result on its head.
“I knew what kind of rough dirty fighter he was, so I didn’t want to go all out in the first round and end up banging heads or anything,” said Marley.
“I was a bit cautious in the first round then we completely just wiped that from the tactics so I had to get my hands dirty. The first one’s out of the way, so the ball is rolling and then it’s just one fight at a time so I’m looking forward to it.”
Marley who needs to reach the final to secure Olympic qualification will now fight Croatian Marko Calic on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
“I’ll enjoy the victory today and then tomorrow morning I’ll look at the next one,” he comments.
Marley was the second-last Irish fighter to see European Games action and after watching the majority of his teammates trade leather he was delighted to finally climb through the ropes.
“It was good just to get the first one under my belt. It was a long old wait out here…just waiting to get in there and just rough it up, but we’ve done it now anyway.”
Fighting in the in the final fight of six for the Irish on Monday, flyweight Sean Mari, Marley’s Monkstown teammate, was beaten by the reigning European Champion and World Bronze Medallist; Martin Molina Salvador of Spain, with a 5-0 scorecard.