Magic Michaela Walsh defeats reigning World champion to move into European medal contention


Less than 24 hours on from opening her account, Michaela Walsh has scored a sensational second win at the European Elite Women’s Championships in Bulgaria.

The Belfast feather outboxed reigning world champion Alessia Mesiano of Italy in the Last 16 in Sofia and is now just one win away from guaranteeing a third successive major international medal.

Monkstown’s Walsh, who turned 25 yesterday, boxed off the back foot throughout as her shorter opponent looked, unsuccessfully, to get inside and work.

Mesiano had won European and World bronze in addition to her World gold in 2016 but was second best here and acknowledged the defeat before the unanimous decision was read out.

The fabulous win secures Walsh a place at the 2019 European Games in Minsk and she will look to guarantee a bronze here versus Belarussian Galina Bruyevich – whom she beat in the opening round of the 2014 World Championships.

Kelly Harrington and Grainne Walsh are next up for Ireland, fighting in the last 16 on Thursday.

Dubliner Harrington faces Czech lightweight Katerina Humlova while Offaly welter Walsh boxes Russian former underage star Yaroslava Yakushina.

European Women’s Elite Championships Sofia, Bulgaria
Tuesday June 5th
Last 32
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Karriss Artingstal (England) 5-0

Wednesday June 6th
Last 16
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Alessia Mesiano (Italy)

Thursday June 7th
Last 16
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) v Katerina Humlova (Czech Republic)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Yaroslava Yakushina (Russia)

TBC
Quarter-finals
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Galina Bruyevich (Belarus)

Irish squad
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
Team Manager: Bernard Dunne
Head Coach: Zaur Antia
Coach: Dmitry Dmitruk
Physio: Muireann Harte

dpg

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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