Michael O’Reilly is guaranteed at least silver at the 66th Strandja Memorial following a semi-final win in Sofia, Bulgaria today.
The Portlaoise BC middleweight earned a split decision over Kazakhstan’s Rustan Syoyev in the 75kg semi-final in the Bulgarian capital.
Syoyev, who beat O’Reilly on a split decision in the Feliks Stamm multi-nations in Warsaw, Poland last year, was given a public warning for a low blow in the second round today.
Irish head coach Billy Walsh and team manager Joe Hennigan hailed O’Reilly’s performance after today’s decision, with Walsh adding that he thought the Irish Elite champion won all three rounds.
He’ll now meet Uzbekistan’s current Olympic Youth champion Bektemir Melikuziev in the middleweight final tomorrow.
Saturday’s men’s finals, according to the official program, begin at 3pm local time (1pm (Irish time).
The Irish squad are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at approximately 11.30am on Sunday morning.
66th Strandja Multi Nations
February 24th Prelims
69kg: Adam Nolan (Ireland) lost to Madrimoy Israel (Uzbekistan) 0-3
52kg: Myles Casey (Ireland) lost to Jack Bateson (England) 0-3
56kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Dave Cesar (Seychelles) 3-0
91+kg: Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Dan Toborsky (Czech Rep) 3-0
February 25th (last 16)
49kg: Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Artur Ogamesyan (Armenia) 1-2
51kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Anakhamm Agayeva (Azerbaijan) 3-0
75kg: Laoise Traynor (Ireland) lost to Viktorya Kebikave (Belarus) 0-3
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland beat Badri Khardziani (Georgia) 3-0
February 26th Q/Final
56kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Muradjan Akhamadlieve (Uzbekistan) 1-2
51kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Petrova Stoyka (Bulgaria) 0-3
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Mariyan Momchev (Bulgaria) 3-0
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Rustan Tulaganov (Uzbekistan) 0-3
91kg+: Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kazakhstan) 1-2
February 27th S/Finals
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Rustan Syoyev (Kazakhstan) 2-1
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Bektemir Melikuziev (Uzbekistan)
49kg: Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s Antrim)
51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan)
52kg: Myles Casey (St Francis)
56kg: Kurt Walker (Canal)
69kg: Adam Nolan (Bray)
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Silver, at least)
75kg: Louise Traynor (Bray)
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91+kg: Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Jimmy Halpin, Antoinette Faye