Sean Mari announced his arrival on the international scene this afternoon with an enormous win at the European U22 Championships in Italy.
The Dublin flyweight defeated England’s Hamza Mehmood in his opening bout at the tournament in Roseto degli Abruzzi.
Mehmood is a double English Elite champion and seen as the long-term successor in the 52kg vest to double Olympian Galal Yafai – but Mari was too smart and too aggressive.
Mari began positively against the classy Englishman, raiding in with bursts, and did enough to shade the first on three of the five cards.
It was quieter in the second as Mari looked to attack with the lunging left hook and the rangy Hamza did well at long range, taking the round 3-2.
Pushing the action in the final round, the left hand scoring well, Mari took the stanza with all the judges to seal a memorable 4-1 win.
The Monkstown talent, 2020 Elite champion at light fly, now moves into the Last 16 where he will face Romanian second seed Cosmin Girleanu – who will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics
Moments earlier there was no joy for Niamh Earley. The Kildare fly lost out to 2018 European U22 Championships silver medallist Romane Moulai of France
A messy fight, both received points deduction but Earley ended up a 4-1 split-decision loser (28-27 x2, 29-26 x2 for Moulai, 28-27 for Earley
There was also bad news with it being confirmed that light heavyweight Kane Tucker has been forced to withdraw from the competition due to illness. The Ulster starlet was due to box Frenchman Raphale Monny tomorrow.
There are two more Irish in action today. At about 6:30pm in Ring B, Galway middleweight Gabriel Dossen will finally make his ring return versus French talent Moreno Fendero. Then, at 7:00pm in Ring A, Dean Clancy is back for his second fight in 24 hours. The Sligo light welter is in with Serbian third seed Nenad Javanovic.
2021 European U/22 Championships Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy
63kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) beat Pete Novak (Czech Republic) 5-0
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Dan Krotter (Germany) 4-1
52kg Sean Mari (Ireland) beat Hamza Mahmood (England) 4-1
51kg Niamh Earley (Ireland) lost to Romane Moulai (France)
63kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) v Nenad Javanovic (Serbia)
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) v Moreno Fendero (France)
56kg Adam Hession (Ireland) v Gabor Virban (Hungary)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) v Eric Tudor (Romania)
81kg Kane Tucker (Ireland) lost to Raphael Monny (France) W/O
91kg Jack Marley (Ireland) v Dariusz Lasotta (Germany)
91kg+ Gytis Lisinskas (Ireland) v Vincenzo Fiaschetti (Italy)
60kg Ellie Mai-Gartland (Ireland) v Paige Richardson (England)
51kg Niamh Earley (Ryston)
60kg Ellie Mai-Gartland (Clonmel)
52kg Sean Mari (Monkstown)
56kg Adam Hession (Monivea)
63kg Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic)
81kg Kane Tucker (Emerald)
91kg Jack Marley (Monkstown
91kg+ Gytis Lisinskas (Celtic Eagles)
Team Manager: Tara Mari
Coaches: Eoin Pluck, Damain Kennedy, James Doyle
Physio: David Cooke