MEDAL ALERT: Dominant Kurt Walker guarantees BRONZE at EU Championships


Kurt Walker guaranteed Ireland’s second bronze medal of the EU Championships today with a dominant performance in Valladolid.

The Lisburn bantam cruised to a quarter-final win in the Central Spanish city and will return home with, at least, a bronze medal.

The European bronze and Commonwealth silver medallist faced Pole Jaroslaw Iwanow and scored a dominant unanimous decision win to join Galway welter Kieran Molloy in the semis this weekend.

Walker began sharply, landing the right hand with regularity. The Canal talent should have had a knockdown ruled when a left hook caught Iwanow square and sent down but it was ruled a slip. Regardless, the Ulsterman was most definitely in the driving seat going into the second.

In second gear in the second, Walker was able to stay on the front foot, popping off shots and raking nice hooks into the body. Switching to allow Iwanow to come onto him, Walker would land a big straight right that rocked the head of the Pole back.

With, what was assumed, a near-unassailable lead on the cards, the third was an even clearer round for Walker. Iwanow desperately tried to force the action but was repeatedly nailed with hard right hands to the final bell.

Going to the cards with little doubt, Walker was confirmed a unanimous decision winner on scorelines of 30-26 x4 and a 30-27..

Walker will now box in the semi-finals on Saturday versus Artyush Gomtsyan from the non-EU country of Georgia. Molloy will also be in action, boxing England’s Pat McCormack for silver.

Ireland will look to guarantee another bronze medal inside the next hour when, at 6:00pm, Portlaoise middleweight Michael Nevin faces England’s Carl Fail – a silver medallist earlier this year at welterweight at the European U22s

Nevin’s fight will be streamed live below:

EU Elite Championships Valladolid, Spain
November 9th
Prelims (last 16)
52kg Conor Quinn (Ireland) lost to Rosenov Banbakov (Bulgaria) 1-4
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria) 5-0
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Frazer Clarke (England) 1-4

November 10th
Prelims (last 16)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Ruben Veciunoa (Belgium) 5-0
91kg Kirill Afanasev (Ireland) beat David Michalek (Slovakia) 4-1

November 11th
Prelims (last 16)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Petr Novak (Czech Republic) 5-0

November 12th
Prelims (last 16)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Stephan Nikitin (Germany) 5-0

November 13th
Q/Finals
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Dmitry Galogot (Moldova) 0-5
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Vincenzo Arecchiai (Italy) 3-1-1

November 14th
Q/Finals
91kg Kirill Afanasev (Ireland) lost to Toni Filipi (Croatia) 0-5

November 15th
Q/Finals
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Jaroslav Iwanow (Poland) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Carl Fail (England)

November 17th
S/Finals
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Artyush Gomtsyan (Georgia)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) v Pat McCormack (England)

Irish squad
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard BC)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal BC) (Bronze, at least)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise BC)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard BC) (Bronze, at least)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise BC)
91kg Kirill Afanasev (Smithfield BC)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel BC)

Team Manager: Stephen Molloy
Coaches: John Conlan & Eoin Pluck
Physiotherapist: Seamus Caffrey
Team Doctor: Jim Clover- Team Doctor
Sports Physiologist: Damian Martin
Referee & Judge: Jim Murrin

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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