Christina Desmond, pictured, meets France’s Maily Nicar at approximately 6pm (Irish time) tomorrow for a place in the middleweight final at the 2016 European Elite Women’s Championships.

England’s Natasha Gale and Wales’ Lauren Price go head-to-head in the corresponding 75kg semi-final at the 10th edition of the tournament in Sofia.

Please click here for semi-final program.

Desmond and Nicar clash over four, two minute rounds with Desmond aiming to become the first Irish female boxer besides Katie Taylor to reach a European Elte final.

The Cork southpaw, an AIBA World Youth silver medallist, became the first Irish boxer – male or female –  to claim a medal (bronze) at the World University Championships in Thailand last month.

The Irish Youth Olympian also beat World No. 2 ranked middleweight Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands at the European Rio 2016 qualifiers in Turkey earlier this year.

Fontijn bounced back from that reversal and eventually qualified for Rio but had to settle of silver after she lost to America’s two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields in the middleweight final at the 31st Olympiad.

Katie Taylor (six gold), Clare Grace (one bronze) and Desmond (at least one bronze) are the only Irsh female boxers to medal at the European Elite Championshps.

Taylor’s decision to turn pro means there will be a new name on the European lightweght title for the first time in over a decade after Wednesday’ finals.

But the destination of the European mddleweight gold medal is still very much up for grabs and the IABA wishes its Elite champion, Christina Desmond, the very best of luck in Sofia.



European Women’s Elite Championships Sofia, Bulgaria

(Last 16 bouts unless stated)

November 15th

54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Lacramiora Perijoc (Romania) 0-3

November 16th

48kg Lauren Hogan (Ireland) lost to Ekaterina Pinigiana (Russia) 0-3

69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Marija Petovic (Serbia) TKO3

November 17th

60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Ireland) beat Aneta Rygielska (Poland) 3-0

November 18th

57kg Moira McElligott (Ireland) beat Sara Beram (Croatia) 3-0

64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) lost to Aleksandra Ordina (Russia) 1-2

November 19th


60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Ireland) lost to Daria Abramova (Russia) 0-3

November 20th


57kg Moira McElligott (Ireland) v Natalya Samokhina (Russia) 0-3
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) lost to Saadat Abdulaeva (Russia) 0-2
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Oksana Trofimova (Russia) 3-0

November 22nd


75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Maily Nicar (France)
75kg Natasha Gale (England) v Lauren Price (Wales)

Irish Squad

48kg Lauren Hogan (St.Brigids Edenderry)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
57kg Moira McElliggot (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Glasnevin)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)
Team manager: Noreen Glendening
Physio: Caoimhe Gilmore
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Dmitri Dimitruc
R&J: Sadie Duffy