Eight Irish on brink of sealing Euro medals
EIGHT Irish boxers will be in action at today's European Youth Championships at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin just one win away from at least a bronze medal each.
Team captain Michael McDonagh, Kieran Forde, Michael O'Reilly, Stephen Broadhurst and Gary Sweeney joined Evan Metcalfe, Joe Fitzpatrick and Jack Morrissey in the quarter-finals with last-16 wins yesterday.
McDonagh and Alijaksej of Belarus shared the first round 2-2, but the Belarusian ended up taking a standing count in the third as the Dublin lightweight posted a 10-3 win.
"I felt comfortable all the way through. From the second round on I knew I was catching him. The guy I fight next is a southpaw. Southpaws never bother me," McDonagh said.
Forde doesn't appear to have any problems with southpaw fighters either as he recorded his second win over a left-hander at the championships against Israel's Tal Sadeh last night.
Meanwhile, Portlaoise BC welterweight O'Reilly completed a fine night for Ireland with his second win on the trot over Ivegeni Barabanov. O'Reilly beat the Ukrainian en route to gold and the 'Best Boxer' award at the Brandenburg Cup in Germany in June and came from behind to win a cracking contest on a 17-16 scoreline last night.
Earlier yesterday, Dundalk middleweight Broadhurst slipped home a neat right hand in the opening seconds of his duel with Nathan Thorley of Wales on his way to a commanding 20-8 victory.
Sweeney also produced a top-class performance. The Mayo light-heavyweight was always in control of his exciting dust-up with Bogdan Kryzhini of the Ukraine, particularly in the third round, when Sweeney found the target repeatedly.
But Dubliner George Bates lost to Radzhab Butaev on the first countback of the championships following a 12-12 tie in the bantamweight class.
The Russian claimed the first frame of this encounter 4-2, but Bates, despite rallying to dominate the second round -- and win the third -- lost 57-54 on accepted scores.
"I knew I was behind in the first, but I thought I won the second and I blew him away in the third," said the St Mary's BC clubman.
Today's quarter-finals will be decided over two sessions starting at 2.0 and 7.0.
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