It was a day of mixed emotions for Team Ireland at the Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in London as five fighters took to the ring hoping to further their chances of competing at Tokyo 2020.
Carly McNaul from Belfast kicked off the action at lunchtime today before another Belfast pugilist in Aidan Walsh went toe-to-toe with Paul Kaminin shortly after.
Michael Nevin of Laois was next up as he looked to secure his place in the middleweight quarter-finals. The final two Irish bouts took place this evening when Belfast’s Brendan Irvine and Lisburn’s Kurt Walker attempted to further their chances of achieving their Olympic dreams.
Here is a round-up of all five fights from today’s Olympic Boxing qualifier in London.
Carly McNaul defeated by Charley Davison via unanimous decision
The Irish action got underway earlier this afternoon when Carly McNaul took to the ring to face Great Britain’s Charley Davison.
The Belfast boxer finished the opening round strongly, however, she was on the defensive for much of it with Davison landing a lot more. Davison’s performance proved enough to give her the first round.
McNaul came out aggressive in the second, however, again it was Davison who landed a lot more en route to a second successive round.
The Irish woman knew she had to pull off something dramatic in the final round, however, it never came to fruition as Davison finished strongly en route to a unanimous points decision win.
Aidan Walsh defeats Pavel Kamanin via unanimous decision
Welterweight Aidan Walsh was next up for the Irish as he took on Estonia’s Pavel Kamanin for a place in the last 16.
The Belfast boxer impressed in the opening round as he used his superior speed and footwork to counter the powerful Estonian as he tried to assume centre control.
Kamanin, in truth, looked out of his depth from the first bell as Walsh completely nullified the Estonian boxer, picking his opponent off at will towards the end as he chased the fight.
Michael Nevin defeats Max van der Pas via split decision
Michael Nevin’s bout with Dutchman Max van der Pas seemed like it was anybody’s guess in the build-up and that proved to be the case.
The Laois pugilist came out swinging and landed a couple of early blows, however, he was pegged back towards the end of the round. In the end, Nevin had done enough to get the nod from four out of five judges following the opening round.
The second round proved even closer as Nevin shipped a couple of early shots. He rallied, though, to finish strongly before taking the round, however, a 3-2 split from the judges showed just how close a fight this was.
Nevin boxed cleverly in the final round as the Dutch fighter searched and searched for the blow that would win him the fight. In the end, he could not find it as Nevin qualified for the quarter-finals following a split-decision win.
Brendan Irvine defeats Istvan Szaka via unanimous decision
Irish team captain Brendan Irvine faced up against Hungary’s Istvan Szaka hoping to secure his place at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Belfast man edged the first round after using his height and reach advantage to keep the speedy Hungarian at bay.
In the second round, though, Irvine produced a dominant display, abandoning the tactic form the previous round by unleashing a barrage of punches to his opponent before doing the same in the third round en route to a dominant win and a place at Tokyo 2020.
Kurt Walker defeated by Hamsat Shadalov via unanimous decision
The final Irish fighter in action before the competition in London would be suspended, Lisburn’s Kurt Walker looked to reach the last eight of the featherweight tournament.
Walker was lively and quick throughout the bout but his German opponent proved elusive and sharp as he boxed brilliantly to chip away at the man in blue.
Shadalov’s confidence and work on his feet led to a unanimous decision victory and disappointment for Walker and Team Ireland in their final fight of the day.