Kurt Walker wins at European Union Championships

Lisburn bantamweight Kurt Walker scored a win for Team Ireland on Day 1 of the Men’s European Union Elite Senior Championships in Spain.

The Ulster 23-year-old defeated experienced Bulgarian Stefan Ivanov in a preliminary round bout in Valladolid.

European bronze and Commonwealth silver medallist Walker, the only member of Team Ireland to have medalled at a previous major championships, was in control throughout this afternoon.

Too elusive and countering with sharp, scything punches, Walker was declared a unanimous decision winner to get his campaign up and running.

There was less luck for teenage Belfast flyweight Conor Quinn who was edged out on a split. The Clonard talent put in a spirited display but was beaten by the slightly sharper Bulgarian European bronze medallist Tinko Banabakov.

There was no luck either for Dean Gardiner. The Tipp super heavy was defeated on a split by reigning champion Frazer Clarke of England after an epic tussle.

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

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


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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