Kelly Harrington first Irish boxer to progress in Kazakhstan

Beats Lithuania’s Austeja Auciute but Dervla Duffy and Moira McElliott both beaten

Kelly Harrington was the first of Ireland’s boxers to progress at the Womens’ World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan. Photograph: Inpho

Kelly Harrington was the first of Ireland’s boxers to progress at the Womens’ World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan. Photograph: Inpho

 

Kelly Harrington was the first of Ireland’s team of eight athletes at the Womens’ World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan to make it through to round two of the tournament after a unanimous decision win over Lithuania’s Austeja Auciute.

Both Mulhuddart’s Dervla Duffy and Moira McElliott from St Michael’s Athy fell to their opponents in the first outing earlier in the day, Duffy to Italy’s Diletta Cippone at bantamweight by unanimous decision and featherweight McElligott on a split decision to Turkey’s Sati Burcu.

Christina Desmond also lost her first round fight in a unanimous decision to Morocco’s Khadja Mardi. The 20-year-old middleweight from Cork, who beat the Dutch European Champion Nouchka Fontijn last month, gave away a significant height and reach advantage to Mardi.

In the end Desmond could not overcome Mardi’s long arms and superior strength.

But it was a fearless and gutsy effortby the Irish Southpaw, who landed regularly on her opponent but also took a lot back. From start to finish it was an all action bout but Desmond struggled to get close and although she did score some big left hands and forced a standing count in the third round, she was also given a standing count in the fourth.

In the end the judges saw it 3-0 and Desmond departs. It leaves the Irish team of eight with four boxers out of the competition after day two of boxing and four remaining.

Dublin light welterweight Harrington commanded the four rounds of her bout, varying her approach and the left jab and body shots working particularly well.

While the Lithuanian fighter was tough and willing, Harrington kept well out of trouble scoring freely in all four rounds and rarely finding herself in trouble.

“Yeah I felt in charge for the whole fight. She just kept coming at me but more of a lunge than anything else,” said Harrington.

“Tactics were spot on. I don’t even know what I landed in there it just happened.”

After a cagey opening round Harrington relaxed and began to score freely, using the ring well and staying at a distance, where she seemed most comfortable.

“I’m glad that’s out of the way,” she added. “It will hopefully get better from here. The first fight is the hardest. That’s the way I look at it. Yeah, yeah I definitely feel comfortable I should have been here a long time ago but better late than never.”

Harrington now meets Germany’s Cindy Rogge in the second round of the tournament with lightweight defending champion Katie Taylor in for her first fight on Saturday against Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson.

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