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Teen heavyweight Jack Marley blast his way into European Championship quarters

Teen heavyweight Jack Marley announced himself onto the scene in sensational fashion going from Jack the lad to Jack the main man in just three rounds in Italy tonight.

The reigning under 18 National Champion progressed to the quarter-finals of the European Under 22 Championships with a stoppage win on his senior debut.

Marley dominated and regularly hurt the more experienced German Dariusz Lasotta over the first two rounds before buckling his opponent’s knees with a beautiful slip, right hand in the third – and eventually forcing the German corner to throw in the towel.

It was a performance of a fighter well beyond Marley’s teenage years. In fact, it was one of the best senior or International tournament debuts seen in recent years and the manner in which it was delivered will make the Monkstown BC fighter one fans will want to see again.

Marley started his senior career in sensational fashion. He came out throwing big shots from the off. The teen heavyweight set the pace, jabbed his way into range and then let the hooks go. Feeling the round slip away from him the fleet footed German elected to hold his feet but that only suited Marley more. The reigning Irisn Under-18 heavyweight champion rolled beautifully before letting big right hands go. He appeared to stun his man just over half way through the round and eventually scored a standing eight count with 11 seconds of the innings remaining. So impressive was the young prospect he won the round 10-8 on four of the judges scorecards.

The 91kg fighter went on the back foot in the second round but wasn’t any less aggressive. His jab flew out constant and he still looked to have the power to hurt his opponent. However, he was easier to hit and the round was more competitive, still he did enough to win it on four of the judges score cards, leaving his more experienced foe with a mountain to climb.

Midway through the third, a massive right hand dipped the knees of the German, and after the referee gave him an eight-count his corner knew there was no way back and waved the towel, giving Marley a victory that moves him to within one win of a European medal.

Marley’s Monkstown stablemate  Sean Mari didn’t enjoy the same level of success and excited the tournament just minutes before.

The flyweight wasn’t able to build on his own impressive International debut win over Team GB England’s Hamza Mehmood as he was defeated by Romanian opposition in the last 16.

To his credit Mari did put up a fight and was competitive throughout but just hadn’t enough to beat Cosmon Girleanu, an experienced operator who already qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Girleanu looked impressive from the off. His footwork created angles that he let speedy combinations go from making his pedigree apparent for all to see. To his credit Mari never took a backward step and has the round wore on made the Olympian miss, landing some shots of his own in the process. However, it wasn’t enough and the Romanian with the Ukrainian deservedly took the round.

The Monkstown prospect attempted to box more in the second. He went on the back foot and invited his buzz saw foe onto him. It worked on occassion as Mari walked Girleanu onto some nice single shots, including a jolting upper cut and some straight right hands. However, he experienced opponent kept coming and was successful with dizzing flurries. The Dubliners display was enough to impress one judge the remainder gave it to Girleanu.

The pace of the first two rounds took its toil in the last. Both fighters were tired but to boths credit they remaind full of endevour and effort. Mari continued to push and between breaks his talented opponent let his hands go. In the another entertaining and competitive round was scored 4-1 in favour of the Romanian.

2021 European U/22 Championships Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy
June 17
Last 32
63kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) beat Pete Novak (Czech Republic) 5-0
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Dan Krotter (Germany) 4-1

June 18
Last 32
52kg Sean Mari (Ireland) beat Hamza Mahmood (England) 4-1
Last 16
51kg Niamh Earley (Ireland) lost to Romane Moulai (France) 4-1
63kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) beat Nenad Javanovic (Serbia) 5-0
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) lost to Moreno Fendero (France)

June 19
Last 16
52kg Sean Mari (Ireland) v Cosmin Girleanu (Romania)
56kg Adam Hession (Ireland) v Gabor Virban (Hungary)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) v Eric Tudor (Romania)
91kg Jack Marley (Ireland) v Dariusz Lasotta (Germany)

June 20th
Last 16
91kg+ Gytis Lisinskas (Ireland) v Vincenzo Fiaschetti (Italy)
60kg Ellie Mai-Gartland (Ireland) v Paige Richardson (England)

Irish squad

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

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: