Kurt Walker loses European semi final – Will bring back Bronze

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Kurt Walker has bowed out of the European Senior Men’s Championships this afternoon in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The 22 year old bantamweight will return to Ireland with bronze following a unanimous decision loss to home favourite Mykola Butsenko.

John Joe Nevin had defeated the same opponent in the final of the 2013 Europeans, but Butsenko would get some Irish revenge here

Walker had defeated the number two seed Tayfur Aliyev of Azerbaijan to guarantee bronze, but could not upgrade to silver today.

Walker controlled the opening exchanges off the back-foot before a big salvo from the ever-advancing Ukrainian southpaw on the two minute mark of a quiet and cagey round.

The Canal talent also started the second well and again there would be a final minute push from Butsenko – but Walker seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges in what was his best round of the fight.

Butsenko started the final, potentially deciding, round on top, landing a succession of big shots that jarred the head back of Walker. In a reversal of roles, the Ulsterman came on strong in the final minute, with a lovely counter uppercut being the pick of the punches.

Going to the cards decision was called, with Butsenko being announced the winner, with all five scorecards reading 30:27 in favour of the Odessa man – which was perhaps a tad harsh on Walker.

Butsenko will face young English talent Peter McGrail in tomorrow’s final.

Joe Ward and Brendan Irvine are in semi final action later today

European Elite Men’s Championships Kharkiv, Ukraine June 14th/25th
June 16th
(Last 32)
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Erik Agateljan (Czech Republic) 5-0

June 17th
Last 32
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Severiane Childaze (Georgia) 5-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) lost to Sergei Sobylinski (Russia) 0-5

June 18th
Last 32
60kg Pat Mongan (Ireland) lost to Artur Bril (Germany) 0-5
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Bartosz Golebiewski (Poland) 3-2

June 19th
Last 16
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Bathuhan Citfci (Turkey) 5-0
60kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Vitaly Dunaystev (Russia) 3-2
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Viktor Vykhryst (Ukraine) TKO2

June 20th
Last 16
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Tayfur Aliyev (Azerbaijan) 4-1
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) lost to Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Matus Strnisko (Slovakia) 5-0
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Ramazazaqn Musilimov (Ukraine) 1-4

June 21st
Q/Finals
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Gabriel Escobar (Spain) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Raffaele Di Serio (Italy) 3-1
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) lost to Luke McCormack (England) 2-3
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Sean Lazzerini (Scotland) 5-0

June 23rd
S/Finals
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Niall Farrell (England)
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Mykola Butsenko (Ukraine) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) v Valentino Manfredonia (Italy)

Irish squad
52kg – Flyweight – Brendan Irvine (St Pauls) (Bronze, at least)
56kg – Bantamweight – Kurt Walker (Canal) (Bronze, at least)
60kg – Lightweight – Patrick Mongan (Olympic)
64kg – Light-welter – Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
69kg – Welterweight – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg – Middleweight – Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin)
81kg – Light-heavy – Joe Ward (Moate) (Bronze, at least)
91kg – Heavyweight – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91+kg – Super-heavy – Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

High-Performance Director/Head of Delegation: Bernard Dunne
Head Coach: Zaur Antia
Coaches: Dmitry Dimitruc, Jimmy Payne, Eoin Pluck
Physio: Seamus Caffrey
Doctor: Jim Clover
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary
Performance Analysis: Alan Swanton

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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: [email protected]