O’Rourke and ‘Wee Rooster’ take bronze

Aoife O’Rourke had to settle for bronze at the Strandja multi-nations after losing out to Naomi Graham of the USA in Sofia, Bulgaria today.

Graham earned a unanimous decision after three tight semi-final rounds.

O’Rourke took the fight to her opponent in all three rounds – and neither boxer had to go looking for each other in an engaging middeweight bout.

But it was the American that go the nod from the judges.

Earlier today, Brendan Irvine had to withdraw from his semi-final with Dan Asenov of Bulgaria after picking up an injury in his quarter-final win following a clash of heads.

IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne said that they withdrew Irvine as a precaution.

Both Irvine and O’Rourke, who won bronze at last year’s Strandja multi-nations, will be taking home bronze from Sofia.

Today’s reversals brings Ireland competitive intertest in the 72nd edition of the tournament to a close.

The finals will be decided tomorrow.

Courtesy of IABA

Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria

February 22nd

Last 16 and 32

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Wildad Bertal (Mauritius) 4-1

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Aneta Rygielska (Poland) 5-0

63kg George Bates (Ireland) lost to Aadkhuja Muydunkujaev (Uzbekistan) 0-5

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) lost to Mujahit Ilyas (Turkey) 1-4

February 23rd

Last 16

51kg Niamh Earley (Ireland) lost to Wassila Likhardiri (France) 0-5

81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) lost to Stephan Hrekul (Ukraine) 0-5

75kg Aofie O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Dobromiro Georgieve (Bulgaria) RSC2

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Yodgoroy Miraeva (Uzbekistan) 5-0

February 24

Last 16

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) lost to Nune Asatarian (Russia) 1-4

91+kg Gytis Lisinskas (Ireland) lost to Singh Manjeet (India) 0-4

February 25

Q/Finals

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Bashkim Bejoku (Kosovo) 5-0

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Karina Tazabekova (Russia) 2-3

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Sennur Demir (Turkey) 4-1

February 26

S/Finals

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Dan Asenov (Bulgaria) W/O

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to Naomi Graham (USA) 0-5

Irish squad

51kg Niamh Earley (Ryston BC)
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s BC) (Bronze)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown BC)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s BC)
63kg George Bates (St Mary’s BC)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea BC) (Bronze)
81kg Emmett Brennan (Dublin Docklands BC)
91kg Kirill Afanasev (Smithfield BC)
91+kg Gytis Lisinskas (Celtic Eagles BC)

Team Manager:Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zauri Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dmitruk

Physio: Lorcan McGee

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