Walsh powers closer to Elite medal in Bulgaria
Irish welter Grainne Walsh TKO'd Serbian Marija Petkovic at the European Elite Women's Championships in Sofia yesterday.
The Offaly orthodox floored the Belgrade leftie with a right in the first, forced her into a standing count in the same round and the ref called a halt after the Serb took another count in the third. Walsh now joins Cork middleweight Christina Desmond in the quarter-finals on Sunday. Both women meet Russian opponents one win away from at least bronze.
Earlier yesterday, Lauren Hogan dropped a unanimous decision Russia's Ekaterina Pinigiana following a fiery light-fly contest in the Bulgarian capital.
"I told you Grainne would win," said Irish head coach Zaur Antia, who is working Ireland's corner with Eddie Bolger. "Big performance to take her through to the next phase. Lauren gave it all against a very good Russian opponent. Lauren has the heart of a lion."
Shauna O'Keeffe will be in action today in the lightweight class.
Meanwhile, Irish boxing will meet the USA - with ex-Irish coach Billy Walsh in the American corner - for the first time in top international competition at the World Youths in Russia.
Galway's Gabriel Dossen faces Las Vegas light-welter Freduis Rojas Jr in the last 32 next Monday in St Petersburg. Billy McClean and John Conlan are Ireland's coaches in Russia. Walsh identified Dossen, who boxes out of the Olympic BC, as a top prospect. "We're looking to see how our guys perform on the world stage. As for Gabriel Dossen, I believe he is an excellent talent. Freddie is looking forward to competing against him," he said.
The World Youths begin today. Irish captain Brett McGinty, Paddy Donovan and Christopher O'Reilly are in action on Friday.