Shannon Sweeney strode stylishly onto the European Championships podium today.
The St Anne’s fighter was too slick and ultimately too strong for Slovakia’s Nicole Durikova in Budva, Montenegro.
Sweeney dished out three standing eight counts over one and a half rounds and ultimately forced the referee to step in and call a halt to proceedings, securing minimumweight bronze at the very least in the process.
It’s a massive achievement for the ever-improving Westerner as she medals in her first-ever European Championships.
The win also got a busy day for Irish boxing off to the perfect start as four more boxers fight for medals on Tuesday.
After a tentative start from both, Sweeney started to get her backhand off. It prompted Durikova to push forward in a bid to sway the round in her favour, which played into the Westport fighter’s gloved hands.
Sweeney brought her box and move brilliance from her last 16 clash yesterday into this encouther and was dominating off the back foot. She began to take complete control and dished out a standing eight for good measure, ensuring she won the round across the board.
A second standing eight was handed out early in the second as the Mayo fighter landed another strong and swift southpaw one two a feat she repeated at the end of the same stanza, forcing the referee to call a halt to proceedings and award her a stoppage win.
Four more Irish fighters will fight for bronze at least today. form flyweight Carly McNaul meets Italy’s Olena Savchuk for a medal.
Reigning Commonwealth Champion Micheala Walsh fights for her second European Championships medal in a 57kg quarter against Romania’s Claudia Nechita.
World champion and Ireland’s 63kg representative Amy Broadhurst boxes Serbia’s Milena Matovic for a place on the podium, that fight is bout 3 of the evening session. Seven fights later and Christina Desmond fights against Sweden’s Hanna Ingrid Malena Hede for a medal.
Aoife O’Rourke, Kellie Harrington, Kaci Rock, and Caitlin Fryers also have quarter-finals to contest but will trade leather on Wednesday rather than today.
Team Ireland Squad
48kg: Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s, Mayo
50kg: Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast
52kg: Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast
54kg: Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin
57kg: Michaela Walsh, Emerald BC, Belfast
60kg: Kellie Harrington, St. Mary’s BC, Dublin
63kg: Amy Broadhurst, St. Bronagh’s ABC, Newry
66kg: Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow
70kg: Christina Desmond, Dungarvan BC/Garda BC
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway