Ireland’s Michaela Walsh secures bronze medal at European Championships

Belfast featherweight beat Belarussian Helina Bruyevich to win Ireland’s first medal

Michaela Walsh won Ireland’s first medal at this year’s European Championships. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Michaela Walsh won Ireland’s first medal at this year’s European Championships. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

A split decision was good enough for Ireland’s Michaela Walsh to secure at least a bronze medal at the European Boxing Championships in Bulgaria on Friday.

The Belfast featherweight beat Belarussian Helina Bruyevich to win Ireland’s first medal in the championships with Dublin lightweight Kellie Harrington ready to go into her medal quarterfinal on Saturday.

Harrington, who has moved down from light welterweight into the vacancy left at 60kg by Katie Taylor when she turned professional after the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, meets Ukrainian Iulia Tsyplakova.

The 25-year-old Walsh kept her distance throughout the three rounds from the swinging Bruyevich and boxed a controlled contest.

Occasionally it appeared that the Irish boxer was not doing enough in her third bout in four days. But she cleverly landed and backed off, often avoiding her opponent’s big rights.

It was an intelligent fight from Walsh against a brawling opponent and it takes her into new territory at this level.

She had already made waves in the tournament by sensationally beating Italy’s world champion Alessia Mesiano in an earlier round.

The win puts the two times Commonwealth Games silver medallist into a European Championship semi-final for the first time with a chance of winning a silver medal in her next bout against Russia’s Darya Abranova.

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