Saturday 21 April 2018

Brendan Irvine and Michael O'Reilly victorious at World Boxing Championships but Dean Walsh bows out

Portlaoise BC middleweight Michael O'Reilly
Portlaoise BC middleweight Michael O'Reilly
Brendan Irvine celebrates after booking his place in the light-flyweight final in Baku earlier this year

Sean McGoldrick

Ireland has made a winning start at the World boxing championships in Doha.

Belfast light flyweight Brendan Irvine comfortably advanced to the last 16 when he fashioned a unanimous 3-0 win over Nico Hernandez from the USA.

Irvine will be in action on Thursday again when he faces a Turkish opponent Muhammet Unlu.

But there was no joy for Wexford light welterweight Dean Walsh who was on the wrong end of a majority 2-1 decision against Luis Arcon Diaz from Venezula. In a desperately close fight which went down to the wire a storming finish from the Venezulan may have swayed two of the judges who gave him the verdict 29-28.

Walsh was in a decent position at the end of round 2 leading on one judge’s card while the other two had the fight level.  Crucially this pair gave the final round to Diaz which proved decisive.

But while his interest in the World championships are over for Walsh, who is a nephew of Ireland team coach Billy Walsh, he will get another chance to qualify for the Olympics next spring provided he retains his Irish elite title.

The session ended on a positive note for the Irish squad when European Games gold medallist Michael O’Reilly had a unanimous 3-0 win over a tough Ukrainian opponent Valerii Kharlamov.

The Portlaoise middleweight dominated the first round and led on all three judges’ card after three minutes; the Ukrainian attempted a comeback in the second as the pair traded punches. But crucially O’Reilly was still ahead on two of the judges’ cards going into the last round.

He underlined is class in the third round to take the round and the fight. He now meets an Australian opponent Daniel Lewis in Thursday’s last 16 bout in the 75kg category.

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