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Three Irish fighters move to within one win of European Games medals

Three Irish boxers moved to within one win of a European Games medal with victories in Minsk today.

Four Irish fighters took to the ring in the early session and three game away with last 16 wins.

Grainne Walsh registered the most eye catching victory as she beat a Team GB fighter to move into the last eight, Kurt Walker saw of a scalp specialist from Armenia, while Michaela Walsh beat an old foe to reach the quarters. 

Dean Gardiner unfortunately excited the competition as he lost out to a European Championship medal winner.

Walker got the day off to a perfect start with victory over  Zhirayr Sargsyan of Armenia.

Sargsyan came into the bout with upset previous having knocked out Romania’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Robert Jitaru in the opening round and played his part in a tough encouther. 

However, the Belfast fighter, who excited the the tournament at the first hurdle back in 2015, managed to secure a place in the quarter finals.

The bantamweight was a 4-1 split decision winner.

Kurt Walker moves into the last 8 after coming through a tough battle and gets a deserved victory over his Armenian opponent. pic.twitter.com/YJ0OCGEDmO


The same result was read out when Tipperary’s big man Dean Gardiner took to the ring, but unfortunately for the super heavyweight it didn’t fall in his favour.

The Clonmel fighter lost out via a 4-1 split decision to Mikheil Bakhtidze of Georgia, a 2011 European Championship medal winner, in the super heavyweight ranks. 

A 4-1 split soon after fell in the favour of Michaela Walsh. The Belfast talent defeated old foe  Lenuta-Lacramioara Perijoc to move within one win of a adding a medal to a collection that already includes European Championship bronze, EU gold and two Commonwealth Games silver medals. 

Grainne Walsh also moved to within one win of a medal with possibly the win of the day.

The Tullamore BC fighter beat the best Team GB had to offer Rossie Eccles to move into the quarter finals.

Considering Eccles is a World and Commonwealth Games silver medal winner it was a difficult opening bout for EU Bronze medal winner.

However, she managed to get her hand raised after securing a 4-1 win.

69kg Kieran Molloy will be action in the evening session hoping to secure a quarter final place with victoy over Yauheni Dauhaliavets of Belarus.




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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 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com