Belfast’s John McConnell shocks Russian phenom at European Junior Championships


John McConnell upset a two-time European champion following a stunning performance at the European Junior Championships in Anapa, Russia today.

The Irish 52kger, who also won yesterday, stunned Russian home favourite Evegeni Zhorov on a 3-2 split decision to book his ticket into the quarter-finals.

Zhorov won gold at the 2016 and 2017 European Schoolboys Championships, defeating Ireland’s Patrick Donovan on a split decision last year in Romania.

McConnell will now face England’s Billy Adams, whom he defeated earlier this year, to guarantee bronze on Saturday.

Michael Donohoe and Michael Maughan both also moved into medal contention following unanimous decision wins while Shane O’Brien scored a stoppage win over a Hungarian.

However, both Steve Cairns and Taylor Guiney bowed out on split-decisions.

Irish team managers Anna Moore and Joe Hennigan said that the Team Ireland athletes gave it absolutely everything and hailed all six performances.

Seven Irish fighters are in action tomorrow. Barry O’Connor and Patrick Sweeney are both out in the Last 16 while five bronze medals are up for grabs for Chloe Gabriel, Niamh Fay, Ellie Mai Gartland, Kaitlyn Doyle, and Bethany Doocey.

European Junior Championships Anapa, Russia
October 11th
Q/Finals
48kg Chloe Gabriel (Ireland) v Valeria Linkov (Russia)
52kg Niamh Fay (Ireland) v Marie Scott (England) or Filippa Giannakopoulov (Greece)
54kg Ellie Mai Gartland (Ireland) v Eva Porumova (Bulgaria)
75kg Kaitlyn Doyle (Ireland) v Georgina Andrei (Romania)
80kg Bethany Doocey (Ireland) v Georgiana Schnte (Romania)
Last 16
54kg Patrick Sweeney (Ireland) v Zsolt Ziro (Hungary)
57kg Barry O’Connor (Ireland) v Anton Lovakovic (Croatia)

October 12th
Q/Finals
57kg Lauren Dempsey (Ireland) v Josefin Betist (Holland)
60kg Sinainn Glynn (Ireland) v Alina Katemrova (Russia)
63kg Leanne Murphy (Ireland) v Loretta Bostos (Hungary)
66kg Leah Gallen (Ireland) v Finja Bree (Germany)
Last 16
70kg Eoghan Lavin (Ireland) v Renato Kozak (Hungary)
75kg Jason Myers (Ireland) v Angelo Sparaco (Italy)
80+kg Bonvie Ndefi (Ireland) v Levanta Kiss (Hungary)

October 13th
Q/Finals
46kg Michael Donohoe (Ireland) v Jack Dryden (England) or Victor Serbov (Moldova)
48kg Michael Maughan (Ireland) v Colin Cairney (Scotland) or Mihail Taranu (Moldova)
50kg Shane O’Brien (Ireland) v Michaelle Baldassi (Italy) or Denii Alagic (Croatia)
52kg John McConnell (Ireland) v Billy Adams (England)
80kg Patrick Myers (Ireland) v Matous Kasrviank (Czech Rep)

October 15th
S/Finals
46kg Breda Quilligan (Ireland) v Hungary or Turkey
70kg v Lisa O’Rourke (Ireland) v Russia or Germany
80kg+ Kori Goad (Ireland) v Olowia Toborek (Poland)

October 9th
Last 16
50kg Rachel Lawless (Ireland) lost to Elaine Ayari (Italy) 1-4
52kg Niamh Fay (Ireland) beat Nikolina Boke (Latvia) 4-1
63kg Leanne Murphy (Ireland) beat Andreea Marin (Romania) 5-0
Last 32
52kg John McConnell (Ireland) beat Matvejs Prokudins (Latvia) 3-2

October 10th
Last 16
46kg Michael Donohoe (Ireland) beat Erik Yervandyan (Armenia) 5-0
48kg Michael Maughan (Ireland) beat Mark Rozsavolgyi (Hungary) 5-0
50kg Shane O’Brien (Ireland) beat Martin Balogh (Hungary) RSC2
52kg John McConnell (Ireland) beat Evegeni Zhorov (Russia) 3-2
Last 32
60kg Steve Cairns (Ireland) lost to Giorgi Gegetchkori (Georgia) 2-3
63kg Taylor Guiney (Ireland) lost to Dmitry Zakharov (Russia) 1-4

Irish squad
Male
46kg Michael Donohue (St Michaels Athy)
48kg Michael Maughan (Olympic
50kg Shane O’Brien (Raging Bull)
52kg John McConnell (Holy Trinity)
54kg Patrick Sweeney (Olympic)
57kg Barry O’Connor (Sliabh Luachra)
60kg Steven Cairns (Legacy)
63kg Taylor Quiney (Drimnagh)
66kg William Hayden (Crumlin)
70kg Eoghan Lavin (Ballyhaunis)
75kg Jason Myers (Olympic)
80kg Patrick Myers (Sligo City)
80+kg Bonvie Ndefi (Olympic Mullingar)

Female
46kg Breda Quilligan (Rathkeale) (Bronze, at least)
48kg Chloe Gabriel (Mulhuddart)
50kg Rachel Lawless (Portlaoise)
52kg Niamh Fay (Swords)
54kg Ellie Mai Gartland (Clonmel)
57kg Lauren Dempsey (Ryston)
60kg Sinainn Glynn (Cloghan)
63kg Leanne Murphy (Togher)
66kg Leah Gallen (Raphoe)
70kg Lisa O’Rourke (Castlerea) (Bronze, at least)
75kg Kaitlyn Doyle (St Brigids Kildare)
80kg Bethany Doocey (Castlebar)
80+kg Kori Goad (Cahen Vale) (Bronze, at least)

Team Managers
Anna Moore (St Francis)
Joe Hennigan (Connacht Council)

Coaches
Billy McClean (High Performance)
Eve Carr (Enniskerry)
Liam Cunningham (Saints)
James Doyle (Monkstown Dublin)
Brian Barry (Riverstown)
Martin Donovan (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Referee/Judge
Michael Gill (Ballymore/Hollywood)

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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