Ireland is guaranteed a record haul of six medals at the World Youth boxing championships in La Nucia, Spain. In his fourth fight in the tournament, lightweight Lee McEvoy (Avona BC, Dublin) beat Carlos Jamil De Leon Castro from Puerto Rico 4-1 this afternoon to reach the last four and guarantee himself a bronze medal.
Later, European Youth heavyweight champion Cliona D’Arcy (Tobar Pheadair, Galway) also secured a place in the last four when she overcame Lithuania’s Aglinskaite Kamile on a unanimous 5-0 decision.
However, featherweight Rebecca Kavanagh (Mulhuddart BC) lost 4-1 to England’s Emily Whitworth in her quarter-final clash.
In yesterday’s action, joint team captains Jim Donovan (welterweight) and Dearbha Tinnelly (light heavyweight) beat opponents from Iraq and Romania respectively to guarantee themselves bronze medals.
Donovan, a member of the Limerick OLOL club, became Ireland’s first medallist with a 5-0 unanimous win over Iraq’s Naeem Hussein Yousif.
Making her tournament debut, current European light heavyweight champion Dearbhla Tinnelly (Clann Naofa, Louth) stopped Romania Maria Gheorghita Cimpoeru in the first round to advance to the semi-final.
Cruiserweight Nathan Ojo (Esker BC) beat Egypt’s Ibra Naeim Mohamed Hamza Tamin 4-1 to guarantee himself a bronze medal while light middleweight Laura Moran (St Anne’s) is assured of a bronze medal after stopping Spain’s Daniela Irina Llorente Golai in the first round.
The Mayo boxer won a silver medal at the European Youth championships in Sofia last April.
In terms of medals won, Ireland has surpassed the previous record performance of a men’s only team at the 2008 Youth championships in Guadalajara, Mexico when Ray Moylette won gold, James Kavanagh took silver and Tommy McCarthy and David Joe Joyce both won bronze.
Meanwhile, two new directors of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association will be added to the board at the AGM next month.
Three candidates, Geraldine Keogh, Fiona Hennigan and Darren O’Neill are vying for the two positions with clubs participating in a postal vote at the moment. The three have been immersed in boxing for most of their adult lives.
O’Neill captained the Irish boxing team at the London Olympics in 2012. Last year, at the age of 36, the Kilkenny southpaw became Ireland oldest elite men’s champions when he won the cruiserweight title.
Hennigan is the current President of the Connacht branch of the IABU, while Keogh’s family has been involved in the sport for decades.