Sunday 25 June 2017

McDonagh delivers to get Irish smiling

Boxing

Team captain Michael McDonagh got Ireland's European Youth Championship campaign off to a flying start with victory over hotly tipped Kristian Stepanov in Dublin yesterday.

The St Mary's BC lightweight beat the Russian 12-9 to book his place in the last-16, where he'll meet Aleijaksej Hohleu of Belarus at the Citywest Hotel tomorrow.

McDonagh and Stepanov shared the first and second rounds 1-1 and 5-5, but the Dubliner knocked his opponent back with a big right in the third en route to victory.

Amazingly, one of the five judges scored the three-rounder 8-0 to the Russian, despite McDonagh's dominance of the third frame.

"Having the Russian first, I knew what to expect and stepped my game up," said McDonagh (18).

"I knew he was very good -- he won the Brandenburg Cup over in Germany, although I wasn't there. I'm not a cocky type, but I was a bit cocky in there with him, smiling to rile him up."

Meanwhile, Michael O'Reilly has received a bye into the last 16 where he'll meet Ivegeni Barabanov of the Ukraine tomorrow.

O'Reilly beat Barabanov 17-9 en route to gold and the Boxer of the Tournament award at the Brandenburg Cup in June.

However, the Portlaoise BC welterweight is not reading too much into that win. "I beat him well last time out, but that was then and I won't be taking anything for granted on Wednesday," he said.

Irish Independent

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