Nolan shows touch of class to beat Russian
London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan produced what Ireland head coach Billy Walsh described as the performance of his career at the European Elite Championships in Samokov, Bulgaria, yesterday.
The Wexford-born welter, who boxes out of Katie Taylor's Bray BC, beat Russian No 1 seed Radzhab Butaev, who has already qualified for Rio 2016 through the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
"Wexford might not win an All-Ireland hurling title this year, but we might win a European title," said the delighted Wexford native after Nolan had secured an unanimous (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) decision to reach the quarter-finals.
"It was nip and tuck for the first two rounds, but Adam pulled away in the last round against a quality opponent who won all his fights in the WSB. It was his best performance."
Light-heavy Joe Ward, the 2011 European champion, also advanced by outclassing Nikoloz Selchniashvili.
The Georgian, who received public warnings for hitting with the inside of the glove and elbowing Ward in the head in the second round, dropped a landslide 30-25, 30-24, 30-25 decision to the Irishman, who embellished a controlled performance with two slick combos in the third.