No Irish boxers are in action on Day 1 of the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 at the Copperbox Arena in London today.

However, Team Ireland will be keeping an eye on the decisions from tonight’s Germany versus Belarus feather clash and the lightweight encounter between Poland and Romania as No. 2 seeds Kurt Walker and Kellie Harrington meet the winners in the last 16.

Belgium’s Delfine Persoon is in action this afternoon at lightweight. The former WBC World champion, who has regraded to the amateur codes, takes on Greece’s  Pita Nikoleta.

Persoon dropped a majority decision to London 2012 champion, Katie Taylor, in an IBF/WBO/WBA/WBC unifier at Madison Square Garden last June.

George Bates, Emmett Brennan and Kiril Afanasev get the show on the road for Ireland tomorrow.

The Dublin trio are between the ropes in the last 32.

Cork southpaw Christina Desmond is also in action on Sunday. The Fr Horgan’s BC/Garda BC lefty was scheduled to meet Italy’s No. 3 seed Angela Carina on St Patrick’s Day, according to the draw, but the bout has been brought forward to March 15.

Over forty nations are battling it out at the qualifiers for 77 Olympic places.

Boxing begins at noon today. Click here for details.

European Qualifiers for Tokyo 2020

Copperbox Arena London March 13/24


March 15

Last 32

63kg George Bates (Ireland) v Leon Dominguez (Spain)

81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) v Radenko Tomic (Bosnia)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) v Begadze Nikoloz (Georgia)

Last 16

69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Angela Carina (Italy)


March 16

Last 32

69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) v Pavel Kamanin (Estonia)

75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Pas der Van (Netherlands)

Last 16

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Istavan Szaka (Hungary)

51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) v Charley Davison (Team Great Britain)

57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Hamsat Shadolov (Germany) or Anton Charnamaz (Belarus)

March 17

Last 16

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Melissa Morensen (Denmark) or Mona Mestian France)

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland) or Paula Cosmo (Romania)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoriya Kebikava (Belarus)

March 18

Last 16

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Petar Belberov (Bulgaria)

Irish squad

(Olympic qualification standard in brackets)


52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s, Antrim) Cpt (Top 8)

57kg Kurt Walker (Canal, Antrim) (Top 8)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 8)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise, Laois) (Top 6)

81kg Emmett Brennan (Dublin Docklands) (Top 6)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield, Dublin) (Top 4)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel, Tipperary) (Top 4)


51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road, Belfast) (Top 6)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 6)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s, Cork, Garda BC) (Top 5)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea, Roscommon) (Top 4)

High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk