Wednesday 23 October 2019

Walker bows out in difficult end to Irish Elites interest

Kurt Walker's bid for at least bronze at the World Men's Elites ended on a unanimous decision loss to Mongolian featherweight Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in Ekaterinburg, Russia yesterday. (stock photo)
Kurt Walker's bid for at least bronze at the World Men's Elites ended on a unanimous decision loss to Mongolian featherweight Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in Ekaterinburg, Russia yesterday. (stock photo)

Bernard O'Neill

Kurt Walker's bid for at least bronze at the World Men's Elites ended on a unanimous decision loss to Mongolian featherweight Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in Ekaterinburg, Russia yesterday.

The Asian Games champion earned a 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 verdict to end Walker's tilt for a 22nd World medal for Irish male and female boxing since Tommy Corr won bronze at Munich 1982.

The Antrim fighter wobbled his opponent with a big right early in the second round, but the Rio 2016 quarter-finalist, who won the first frame, kept his shape and neither man was on top in the third.

Bernard Dunne, IABA high-performance director, voiced his disappointment but tipped his hat to the Mongolian southpaw.

Interesting "It will be interesting to see how much further your man (Erdenebat) goes, he's a quality opponent," he said. "We're aiming toward the Olympic Games (qualifiers) and this is as close we will get to that preparation and the guys have seen that the competition is quite stiff."

The focus will now switch to the World Women's Elites which begin in Ulan-Ude, Siberia on October 3.

Cavan flyweight Ceire Smith, Belfast feather Michaela Walsh, Dundalk light Amy Broadhurst and Cork welter Christina Desmond will represent Ireland in Siberia.

The squad arrived at the Germany Olympic Centre in Kienbaum yesterday and will train with the host nation, Australia and USA.

Dunne confirmed that Roscommon middleweight Aoife O'Rourke, the European Elite champion, is being rested for Siberia after a busy summer.

Meanwhile, Ekaterinburg 2019 marks the first time since Chicago 2007 that Irish male boxing has failed to medal at the World Elites.

Irish Independent

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