Cork welter Christina Desmond cruised into the quarter-finals of the European Women’s Elite Championships in Madrid today.

The Rebel southpaw, appropriately fighting out of the red corner, convincingly beat Leonie Van Leeuwen of the Netherlands on a unanimous decision.

The final scores read 30-24,30-24,30-24,30-25,30-26 to Desmond with the brave and game Leeuwen soaking up a lot of backhands in all three rounds and taking a standing count off a combination in the third.

A middleweight bronze medal winner at the 2016 Europeans, Desmond, a former World Youth finalist, will now meet Russian No. 2 seed Darima Sandakova in the last eight tomorrow with at least bronze up for grabs.

Siberia-born Sandakova, a bronze medallist at the European Games in Minsk earlier this summer, beat Hungary’s Vivien Budai this afternoon.

The Russian fighter, switching stances occasionally, scored a unanimous decision Budai but it was by no means all one way traffic.

Desmond is the only Irish boxer in action today.

She’ll be back between the ropes on Wednesday with Amy Broadhurst in a double-header against Russia.

Aoife O’Rourke, who is guaranteed at least bronze in Madrid, is through to Friday’s semi-finals versus Russia.

Irish team manager JP Kinsella was impressed with Desmond’s performance.

“I thought Christina boxed incredibly well in all threee rounds and she’ll take a lot of confidence from the win and the manner of the win going into the quarter-finals,” he said.


European Women’s Elite Championships Madrid, Spain August 22/31

August 27

Last 16

69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Leonie Anna Van Leeuwen (Netherlands) 5-0

August 28


60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) v Anastasia Belokova (Russia)

69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Darima Sandakova (Russia)

August 30


75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Anastasia Shamonova (Russia)


August 26

Last 16

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Naz Buse Cakiroglu (Turkey) 0-5

60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat Dominika Ciklova (Czech Republic) 5-0


75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Tetiana Petrovich (Ukraine) 5-0

August 25

Last 32

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Krisztina Beri (Hungary) RSC2

Irish squad

51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan/Virginia)
60kg: Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
69kg: Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) (Bronze, at least)

Team manager: JP Kinsella

Coaches: Zaur Antia and Damain Kennedy

Physio; David Cooke