Irish primed for impressive Euro medal haul as quintet turn on style
IRELAND'S boxers are guaranteed at least five bronze medals at the 2011 European Youth Championships in Dublin after quarter-final wins at the Citywest Convention Centre yesterday.
Michael O'Reilly, Stephen Broadhurst, Joe Fitzpatrick, Jack Morrissey and Gary Sweeney are through to the last four and will be in action today and tonight.
But team captain Michael McDonagh, Evan Metcalfe and Kieran Forde all bowed out yesterday following last-eight reversals.
O'Reilly beat Damon Jones 18-5 in their 69kg clash as the Portlaoise BC prospect romped past the Englishman in a landslide victory.
Sweeney, the Mayo light-heavyweight blasted his way to a 10-6 victory over Aleksandre Dokvadze in the 81kg class.
Earlier yesterday, Broadhurst, who boxes out of the Dealgan BC in Dundalk, outpointed Scottish middleweight Grant Quigley 8-5.
And Wexford heavyweight Morrissey (Sacre Couer BC) followed that up with a power-punching final round to hammer out a 15-10 decision over Paulis Zujevaz of Lithuania.
Broadhurst meets Rauf Rashimov of Azerbaijan in today's semi-final and the 17-year-old southpaw reckons he'll have to start thinking on his feet in the 75kg duel.
"I hear from my coaches that he's powerful, he throws big hooks. I'll need a good defence and to be good on my feet," he said.
"I have to keep my feet on the ground and look for gold."
Imacculata BC Belfast flyweight Fitzpatrick, the youngest member of the Irish squad at 16, advanced on a narrow 15-14 verdict over Tural Ahmadov of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan exacted a measure of revenge for that reversal when lightweight Parviz Baghirov eliminated Irish skipper McDonagh on a 9-6 verdict.
Galway's Forde also had to accept a top-eight finish, the Monivea BC light-welterweight losing a 3-2 double countback decision to Ievgenii Parkhomenko of the Ukraine after a 12-12 tie.
Crumlin BC light-flyweight Metcalfe was the first Irish boxer in action yesterday but lost 15-14 to 2009 AIBA world junior 46kg champ Koryun Soghomonyan of Armenia.