Successful night for Irish boxers in Boston
The USA recorded eights wins in last night’s Elite 12-bout international with Ireland in Boston.
Current Irish Elite champions Kellie Harrington, Kieran Molloy, Michael Nevin and Kiril Afansev posted victories at the Royale Complex.
Harrington, switch-hitting throughout, showed her class to score a unanimous decision over Bronx lightweight Stacia Suttles, and Molloy, Nevin and Afansev earned split decisions over Continental silver medallist Quinton Randall, Nikita Abably and Adrian Tillman.
Molloy and Nevin claimed their first National Elite belts at Dublin’s National Stadium last month with Molloy also picking up the Best Boxer Award.
"My first victory since the Elite Championships against the US captain," said Galway welter Molloy.
"Felt good in there against an experienced opponent. It felt a bit different to usual as we had to wear headguards, but I performed well and myself and the team are happy with our overall performances. Looking forward to the next bout on the 21st."
Two split verdicts went against Ireland, with Oshae Jones and Tiger Johnston taking a majority of the judges with them against Grainne Walsh and Wayne Kelly.
Irish captain Dean Gardiner lost out on a unanimous decision to Californian super-heavy Richard Torrez in the final bout of the evening after another close encounter.
Boston featured two men – current Irish head coach Zaur Antia and former Irish head coach Billy Walsh who is now USA chiefs seconds – who helped steer Ireland to numerous Olympic, World and European medals in opposing corners.
"It was a fantastic night of boxing," said Wexford-native Walsh. "The real winners were the boxing fans, American and Irish, supporting these two young teams. I was really happy our performance as well as theirs."
Bernard Dunne, Irish Athletic Boxing Association High-Performance Director and team manager in the USA, stressed that they’re using a young and developing squad on the American tour and that he was looking at performances.
The former WBA world champion got those performances last evening with the team acquitting themselves in victory and defeat against strong and experienced opposition.
Former Irish Olympian Kevin McBride and 'Irish' Mickey Ward were honorary Irish and American captains in Boston.
Both nations meet again in Springfield on Thursday. Boxing begins at 11pm (Irish time).
The final leg of the three-match series will be hosted at the Downtown Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 21.
USA v Ireland March 12th Boston
54kg: Virginia Fuchs beat Lauren Hogan RSC2
60kg: Stacia Suttles lost to Kellie Harrington 0-3
69kg: Oshae Jones beat Grainne Walsh 2-1
60kg: Marc Castro beat Frankie Cleary 3-0
60kg: Keyshawn Davis beat George Bates 3-0
64kg: Tiger Johnson beat Wayne Kelly 2-1
69kg: Quinton Randall lost to Kieran Molloy 1-2
75kg: Troy Isley beat Bret McGinty 3-0
75kg: Nikita Ababiy lost to Michael Nevin 1-2
81kg: Khalil Coe beat Caoimhin Agyarko-Hynes 3-0
91kg: Adrian Tillman lost to Kiril Afanasev Pts 1-2
91kg+: Richard Torres beat Dean Gardiner 3-0
USA 8 Ireland 4
Fixtures USA v Ireland
March 12: Royale Entertainment Complex, Boston, Mass.
March 15: MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.
March 21: The Manchester Downtown Hotel, Manchester, N.H.
54kg: Lauren Hogan (St Brigid’s BC)
60kg: Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s BC)
69kg: Grainne Walsh (Spartacus BC)
75kg: Aoife Burke (St Mary’s BC)
91kg+: Dean Gardiner (Clonmel BC)
91kg: Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield BC)
81kg: Caoimhin Agyarko-Hynes (Holy Trinity BC)
75kg: Michael Nevin (Portlaoise BC)
75kg: Brett McGinty (Oakleaf BC)
75kg: Gerard French (Clonard BC)
69kg: Kieran Molloy (Oughterard BC)
69kg: Eugene McKeever (Holy Family BC)
64kg: Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise BC)
64kg: Caoimhin Ferguson (Clonard BC)
64kg: Paddy Donovan (OLOL BC)
60kg: George Bates (St Mary’s BC)
60kg: Francis Cleary (Ballina BC)
Team manager – Bernard Dunne
Head coach – Zauri Antia
Coach – Phillip Keogh
Coach – Martin Donovan
Coach – Paul Thompson