Smith and O’Reilly impress their way in quarter finals

By IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill

Michael O’Reilly ended the day on a high note for Ireland with an excellent win over Badri Khardziani at the Strandja Memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria today.

The Portlaoise BC middleweight, using superior skills, beat the tough Georgian on a unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,29-28) to book his ticket into the last-eight.

(Click here and here for Thursday’s quarter final program. Local times apply. Sofia is two hours ahead of Ireland)

Earlier today, Ceire Smith advanced, but Brendan Irvine and Louise Traynor are out of the 66th edition of the tournament following last-sixteen reversals.

Smith, Cavan BC, convincingly beat Azeri flyweight Anakhamm Agayeva (40-35,40-34,39-37) to progress to the quarter-finals where she’ll meet Bulgaria’s Petrova Stoyka.

Irvine lost to Artur Ogamesyan of Armenia and Traynor dropped a unanimous decision (40-35,40-35,40-35)  to  Viktorya Kebikave of Belarus today.

Irvine can consider himself particularly unlucky as one of the judges (Spain) scored all three rounds to Ireland – 30-27 – but the other two judges marked it 29-28 to Armenia, meaning that Irvine won a majority of rounds.

“Ceire boxed excellently this morning. It was a top class performance, said Irish team manager Joe Hennigan.

“Laoise did well over the four rounds, but we’re disappointed that Brendan didn’t win. I thought he deserved it, he was the better boxer.”

The Irish team manager’s views on the Irvine result were echoed by head coach Billy Walsh.

O’Reilly, Smith, Darren O’Neill, Dean Gardiner and Kurt Walker will be in quarter-final action tomorrow.

66th Strandja Memorial 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) v Muradjan Akhamadlieve (Uzbekistan)
51kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Petrova Stoyka (Bulgaria)
75kg: Michael O’Reill (Ireland) v Mariyan Momchev (Bulgaria)
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Rustan Tulaganov (Uzbekistan)
91kg+: Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kazakhstan)

Irish Squad

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)
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

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