Shauna O’Keefe storms into European Quarter Finals

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Clonmel lightweight Shauna O’Keefe joined her team mates Gráinne Walsh and Christina Desmond in the European Championships quarter finals today.

The 22 year old won here opening bout in Sofia, her debut fight at a major international tournament, to put herself just one win away from a guaranteed bronze medal.

The Tipperary talent took on Poland’s Aneta Rygielska and came away with an impressive unanimous decision win.

Rygielska, working fluently behind a raking jap, found the target with solid rights hooks throughout today’s contest, but her work grew more noticeably ragged in the third and fourth, as O’Keeffe, constantly walking down her opponent, detonated some big shots going down the final stretch

A nerveless performance, the southpaw who has replaced the legendary Katie Taylor showed signs that Ireland will be well-served in the lightweight division for years to come

However, if O’Keefe is to win a medal, she will need to overcome the huge obstacle of Russian Daria Abramova on Saturday.

European Women’s Championships Sofia, Bulgaria
(Last 16 bouts unless stated)
November 15th
54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Lacramiora Perijoc (Romania) 0-3

November 16th
48kg Lauren Hogan (Ireland) lost to Katerina Pinigiana (Russia) 0-3
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Marija Petovic (Serbia) RSC3

November 17th
60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Ireland) beat Aneta Rygielska (Poland)

November 18th
57kg Moira McElliggot (Ireland) v Sara Beram (Croatia)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aleksandra Ordina (Russia)

November 21st
Q/Final
60kg Shauna O’Keefe (Ireland) v Daria Abramova (Russia)

November 20th
Q/Final
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Oksana Trofimova (Russia)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Saadat Abdulaeva (Russia)

Irish Squad
48kg Lauren Hogan (St.Brigids Edenderry)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
57kg Moira McElliggot (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Glasnevin)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)

Team manager: Noreen Glendening
Physio: Caoimhe Gilmore
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Dmitri Dimitruc
R&J: Sadie Duffy

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie