Wednesday 17 July 2019

Buckley 'going for gold' after sensational victory in European last 16

Regan Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile
Regan Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Wicklow dynamo Regan Buckley is aiming to become the second Bray boxer besides Katie Taylor to win European Games gold after a sensational last 16 victory in Minsk yesterday.

The Irish light fly, who returned to the amateur ranks after two pro fights in 2017, hammered Russia's Bator Sagalvev to move to within one win of at least bronze when he faces Spain's Martin Molina tomorrow.

Sagalvev beat Antrim's Brendan Irvine in the light fly final at the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015, on the same day that Taylor won her last major amateur gold before turning pro.

"It was a good, tough one to start me off, but I got through it. Every one of them out here is capable of medalling. It doesn't matter who is next as I'm going for gold," said Buckley.

Meanwhile, Laois middleweight Michael Nevin stunned Azerbaijan's Rio 2016 bronze medallist and current European Elite champion Kamran Shakhsuvarly in a career-best performance last night.

The Azeri, the No 2 seed in Minsk, simply had no answer to Nevin's speed and footwork, with the Laois stylist romping home to a 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 win.

"Delighted to get my second one," said Nevin, who beat England's Mark Dickenson on Saturday. "It was a tough one, but I thought I came through it well and deserved it."

Antrim light-welter James McGivern cruised past Michael Takacs to set up a last 16 clash with Armenia's No 1 seed Hovhannes Bachkov, the current European champion and Rio 2016 Olympian.

"It's great to get the first one out of the way," said McGivern yesterday.

"I was hurting him in the second round. I'll just keep on going, take it fight by fight, round by round."

Dublin heavyweight Tony Browne lost to Croatia's Toni Filipi. He won all three rounds on one of the cards, but Filipi, who received a public warning for holding, took the other four judges with him.

Kurt Walker, Michaela Walsh, Kieran Molloy, Grainne Walsh and Dean Gardiner box today. World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington, the No 1 seed in Minsk, received a bye into the last eight.

Irish Independent

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