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Mixed fortunes for Ireland inStrandja multi-nation’s evening session

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There were mixed fortunes for Team Ireland in the evening session Strandja multi-nations in Bulgaria today.

The morning and afternoon sessions saw Ireland register five wins from six contests and one from two fighting later in the day managed to progress.

Reigning light heavyweight National Elite Champion Emmet Brennan bowed out at the first hurdle, whilst heavyweight Kiril Afansev registered victory over a former 3-0 pro boxer to progress.

Dublin’s Brennan was beaten on points by Ukrainian light-heavyweight Stepan Hrekul.

Smithfield’s Kiril Afansev then beat Belgium heavyweight Victor Schelstraette after a close 91kg encounter.

Michaela Walsh got Ireland day one off to a winning start.

The Antrim feather beat Gutierrez Guadaloupe on points in Sofia and will be back between the ropes tomorrow to meet Spain’s Jenifer Fernandez for a place in the last eight.

Roscommon middle Aoife O’Rourke, the current European champion, made it 2 and 0 for Ireland in a points win over Sweden’s to book her ticket into the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Dublin light-welter George Bates advanced to the last 16 after an impressive win over French southpaw Lounes Hamraoui who received a public warning for an infringement in the third round.

Galway super heavy Antoine O Griofa lost on points to Italy’s two-time Olympic finalist Cemente Russo.

The 2013 World Elite champion was on the floor in the second round but that was ruled a slip. However, O’Griofa’s left hook appeared to help him on his way in an engaging 91+kg clash in which both men found the target with clean shots.

In the afternoon session, Ceire Smith advanced at the expense of French flyweight Johanna Wonyou, and Cork welter Christina Desmond beat Brazil’s Beatriz Soares after a hard-punching 69kg contest.

Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria January 20/25

January 21st

Last 32 and 16

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Johanna Wonyou (France) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Gutierrez Guadaloupe (USA) 3-2
63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Lounes Hamraoui (France) 3-2
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Beatriz Soares (Brazil) 4-1
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Love Holgersson (Sweden) 5-0
81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) lost to Stepan Hrekul (Ukraine) 1-4
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Victor Schelstraette (Belgium) 3-2
91+kg Antione O Griofa (Ireland) lost to Clemente Russo (Italy) 0-5

January 22

Last 16

51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) v Olena Savchuk (Italy) or Maria Gonzalez (Spain)
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Rabab Cheddar (Morocco)
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Carlos Rocha (Brazil)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Jenifer Fernandez (Spain)
57kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) v Francesco Maietta (Italy)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) v Mira Potkonen (Finland)
63kg George Bates (Ireland) v Shpetin Bajoku (Kosova)
63kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) v Paolo Di Lernia (Italy)
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) v Johnson Delante (USA) or Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) v Sing Negi (India) or Mateuusz Polski (Poland)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Herbert Souza (Brazil)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) v Nikolaz Begadze (Georgia)

January 23


69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Jones Oshae (USA)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Flavia Figuerdo (Brazil) or Vasilena Rangelova (Bulgaria)

Irish squad


51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan) and Carly McNaul (Holy Family)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) and Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)


57kg Kurt Walker (Canal) and Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s) and Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) and Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)

91kg+ Antoine O’Griofa (Celtic Eagles)


High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk, JP Kinsella

Physio: Lorcan McGee

Physiologist: Damien Martin

Photo credit Ricardo Guglielminotti


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: