Adam Hession and Dean Clancy out of luck at European Boxing Championships

Irish fighters lose their quarter-final bouts in Belgrade

It was a tough day for the men’s Irish boxing team at the European Boxing Championships in Belgrade with both Adam Hession and Olympic qualified Dean Clancy falling to southpaws at the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

Clancy faced Azeri light welterweight Malik Hasanov and went down in all three rounds. The super-quick Hasanov had the longer reach and was a superb counter-puncher as Clancy pushed forward from the beginning. But sharp reflexes helped the powerful Hasanov win the first round on all five cards.

That made for an uphill task for the Leitrim boxer as Hasanov increased his tempo and found better range in the second round, where he was warned for showboating. But Clancy’s sharp raids were invariably punished harshly. While Hasanov didn’t land his back left hand, it swung dangerously close on several occasions.

Winning the second round 5-0 made the third round processional and while one judge gave the final three minutes to the Irishman, Hasanov came away with the bronze medal and $5,000 in prize money.


Galway boxer Hession also drew a tough opponent in Russia’s Eduard Savvin in his podium bout. Boxers from Russia and Belarus have been allowed to compete in most international events in a neutral status. However, they are still eligible to compete under the Russian flag at events organised by the International Boxing Association, led by Russian official Umar Kremlev. Should they win, the Russian anthem will be played.

The Irish featherweight went out blazing but fell behind from the first round and never had the opportunity to catch up. A clever counter0puncher, Savvin’s shots were clean and accurate and although Hession kept busy throughout the round and pushed his opponent back, the judges had only eyes for one boxer.

Four of them gave the first round to the Russian with one siding with the Irish man. Although Hession brought up the tempo in the second round and aggressively pushed Savvin back, the cleaner scoring was landing from all angles. With low hands, Savvin flicked out shots and scored falling back away from the reach of Hession. All the five judges scored the second round 10-9 in favour of the Russian.

It was more of the same for the final three minutes, Hession pushing forward and Savvin counter-scoring off the Irish attack. It stayed that way until the end with the five judges also giving the third round to the Russian.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times