Micheal Nevin and Regan Buckley registered massively eye catching wins in Minsk today.
On a day that also saw Belfast’s James McGivern have his hand raised and heavyweight Tony Browne bow out of the European Games Buckley and Nevin added two names of note to their respective CVs.
Bray’s Buckley defeated and knocked out the reigning champion from Russia, Bator Sagalvev, the fighter that defeated Brendan Irvine in the final of the last installment of the tournament in 2015.
While Nevin rounded off another successful day by beating Rio 2016 bronze medallist and current European Elite champion Kamran Shakhsuvarly in a career-best performance.
The Portlaoise BC middleweight, who beat England’s Mark Dickenson yesterday, bossed the 75kg contest versus the accomplished Azeri to book his ticket into the quarter-finals and line up a shot at at least bronze at the 2nd edition of the Games.
“I’m very happy with my performance, on to the next one now. We had a good plan,” said Nevin after his second victory in 24 hours.
“Superb finish to the day with Michael Nevin putting in a top-class performance. Showed skill, strength and guts when needed,” said IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne at ringside in Minsk.
Earlier today, Regan Buckley sensationally dethroned a defending champion and James McGivern cruised to victory.
But Tony Browne was unlucky to bow out on a split.
Buckley scored a superb unanimous decision over Russian light fly Bator Sagalvev, who beat Ireland’s Brendan Irvine in the light-fly final at the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015, the Irish champion winning all three rounds on four cards and two rounds on the fifth.
McGivern has too much firepower for Slovakia’s Michael Takacs, the Antrim light-welter lashing in head and body shots in all three rounds en route to a unanimous verdict and one 10-8 frame for one of the judges.
“it was a pretty cager fight, there was a lot of sussing each other out and feinting in the first two rounds in particular,” said Browne.
“I felt I was landing the cleaner shots of the two, but in the last round I was caught with that shot that I didn’t see coming and that may have been the deciding factor. I’m very disappointed, once punch can change a fight.”
Current EU champion Michaela Walsh and Kurt Walker and Dean Gardner, Kieran Molloy and Grainne Walsh are in action tomorrow at the 44-nation tournament.
World Elite champion Kellie Harrington will meet Italy’s Irma Testa for at least bronze on Wednesday. Testa beat Christina Rygielska (Moldova) tonight to set up a last eight showdown with the No. 1 seed in the lightweight class.
European Games 2019 Minsk, Belarus
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Goce Janeski (Northern Macedonia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Mark Dickinson (Team GB) 3-2
49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) beat Bator Sagalvev (Russia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 5-0
91kg Anthony Browne (Ireland) lost to Toni Filipi (Croatia) 1-4
64kg James McGivern (Ireland) beat Michael Takacs (Slovakia) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Zhirayr Saeqsyan (Armenia)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Lenuta Perijoc (Romania)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) v Yauheni Dauhaliavets (Belarus)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Rosie Eccles (Team GB)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Mikheil Bakhtidze (Georgia)
64kg James McGivern (Ireland) v Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoryia Kebikava (Belarus)
49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) V Martin Molina (Spain)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Guler Serhat (Turkey)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Irma Testa (Italy)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)
69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
64kg James McGivern (St George’s)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk