MEDAL UPGRADE – Ava Henry party’s like it’s Saturday Night as she reaches European final

Ava Henry whipped out the Saturday Night dance as she celebrated reaching a second European final.

The Dubliner had just endured a dance of a different kind against Genirva Muzzi, and while her version of Whigfield 90s classic may not have been good enough for 10’s across the board on Strictly, her performance in the boxing ring earned her 10 scores aplenty.

Henry had too much for her semi-final rival and won every round to upgrade her bronze to silver.

The Inner City fighter claimed a unanimous decision win over the home fighter to reach a second European final.

The emerging lightweight talent, who won silver in the European Schools Championships in 2019, will now look to win European gold on Tuesday.

The win was Ireland’s third of an action-packed day, Grace Conway also secured her place in a final as did Niamh Keogh, while Sofie Curley and Alfie Jordan have to settle for bronze after defeats to Turkey and England respectively.

Henry started the faster as she tried to set the pace, her opponent did have some success countering well, but for Henry landed with more venom and regularity. Some head-rocking backhands particularly caught the eye. As the round progressed the Dubs hand speed came into play and post doubling her jab she began to enjoy real success, one backhand landed so clean and strong it dislodged the Italian’s head guard. Henry won the round 4-1.

After another break to fix the head guard the home fighter had a real go, but Henry wasn’t going to be bullied and held her ground. The head guard issue had to be addressed again, once it was and the fight resumed the Dublin Dockland’s fighter began to purr. Henry showed real class across the remainder of the round to ensure she won it across the board to put one dancing foot into the final.

The second foot followed as Henry claimed the third whists being serenaded by chants of Ole Ole Ole. The Italian had a go but had no answers for the Irish co-captains quality.

Team Ireland Squad

Male Boxers:

1. 44-46kg Alfie Jordan (Olympic L)

2. 48kg Jamie Collins (Drimnagh)

3. 50kg Calvin Doyle (Olympic L)

4. 52kg Johnny Harty (Portlaoise)

5. 54kg James Kelly (Holy Trinity)

6. 57kg Callum Carrager (Tredagh)

7. 60kg Ryan Jenkins (Olympic L)

8. 63kg Cillian Reilly (Jobstown)

9. 66kg Tadhg O’Donnell (Four Kings)

10. 70kg Charlie Valbergs (Cherry Orchard). Team Captain

11. 75kg Dylan McShane (St Pauls A)

12. 80kg Jack Teggart Weatherall (St Pauls A)

13. 80+kg Adam Olaniyan (Jobstown)

Female Boxers

1. 44-46kg Sophie Curley Gray (Dealgan)

2. 50kg Grace Conway (Tredagh)

3. 52kg Carlagh Peake (Ballyhaunis)

4. 54kg Niamh Keogh (Olympic L)

5. 57kg Siofra Lawless (Liberty)

6. 60kg Ava Henry (Docklands) Team Captain,

7. 63kg Kayleigh Whelan (Avona)

8. 66kg Sarah Murphy (St Brigids L)

9. 70kg Jodie Byrne (St Teresa’s)

10. 75kg Mary McDonagh (Sliabh Luachra)

11. 80kg Shauna Crehan (Dunboyne)

Team Manager

Martin Fennessy

Coaches

1. Ralph McKay

2. Liam Cunningham

3. Paul O’Toole

4. Linda Morgan

Referee/Judge

Philip Hollowed

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com