Kellie Harrington has her hand raised in victory today



George Bates had to settle for a top-eight finish at the Strandja multi-nations in Sofia, Bulgaria today.

The Dubliner lost on points to Shiva Thapa despite flooring the India light-welter for a count with a sweet left hook in the second round of a fiery 63kg battle.

Bates won two fights en route to the last eight in Sofia.

Dublin’s Kellie Harrington and Roscommon’s Aoife O’Rourke are guaranteed at least bronze at the 71st edition of the tournament.

Both women won their quarter-finals versus Ukranian lightweight Hanna Okheri and Brazilian middleweight Flavia Figuerdo this afternoon.

Harrington, in her second fight back since injuring her hand at the European Games last June, earned a unanimous decision and O’Rourke advanced on a split verdict.

Earlier, Ceire Smith and Michaela Walsh bowed out at the last eight stages after being on the wrong end of unanimous and split verdicts to Virginia Fuchs of the USA and India’s Sonia Lather.

Big performances from both Irishwomen.

Cork welter Christina Desmond was withdrawn for her quarter-final with Oshae Jones of the USA after picking up a slight hand injury in her win over Beatriz Soares of Brazil on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Kurt Walker, the current European champion, was surprisingly adjudged to have lost to Ukraine’s Mykola Buysenko today. The Antrim feather was outstanding in all three rounds of an up-tempo 57kg contest.

Smith won two fights en route to the her quarter-final bout with Texas puncher Fuchs.

“She was sharp and very cute. It was a good contest, she said.

“I think my tactics from Zaur (Zaur Antia, Irish head coach) were perfect but I certainly need to implement them better. I’ll be going home with specifics to work and improve on.

“This has been a great tournament with three good contests under my belt which I will be building on the busy year ahead.”

Harrington and O’Rourke will be back between the ropes tomorrow boxing for places in Saturday’s finals.

(Image (Harrington) courtesy of Tibor Kincses)

Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria January 20/25

January 23


51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Virginia Fuchs (USA) 0-5
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Sonia Lather (India) 2-3
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Mykola Buysenko (Ukraine) 1-4
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Hanna Okheri (Ukraine) 5-0
63kg George Bates (Ireland) lost to Shiva Thapa (India) Pts
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Jones Oshae (USA) W/O
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Flavia Figuerdo (Brazil) 3-2

January 24


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Denicia Eliseeva (Bulgaria)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Naomi Graham (USA)

(Fixtures to be confirmed)

January 22

Last 16

51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) lost to Olena Savchuk (Italy) 0-5
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Rabab Cheddar (Morocco) 5-0
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Carlos Rocha (Brazil) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Jenifer Fernandez (Spain) 5-0
57kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) lost to Francesco Maietta (Italy) Pts
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Aneta Rygielska (Poland) 5-0
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland) 0-5
63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Shpetin Bajoku (Kosova) Pts
63kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Paolo Di Lernia (Italy) Pts
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) lost to Johnson Delante (USA) Pts
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Sing Negi (India) 0-5
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) lost to Herbert Souza (Brazil) 2-3
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) lost to Nikolaz Begadze (Georgia) W/O

January 21

Last 32 and 16

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Johanna Wonyou (France) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Gutierrez Guadaloupe (USA) 3-2
63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Lounes Hamraoui (France) 3-2
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Beatriz Soares (Brazil) 4-1
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Love Holgersson (Sweden) 5-0
81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) lost to Stepan Hrekul (Ukraine) 1-4
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Victor Schelstraette (Belgium) 3-2
91+kg Antione O Griofa (Ireland) lost to Clemente Russo (Italy) 0-5


Irish squad


51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan) and Carly McNaul (Holy Family)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) and Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)


57kg Kurt Walker (Canal) and Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s) and Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) and Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)

91kg+ Antoine O’Griofa (Celtic Eagles)


High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk, JP Kinsella

Physio: Lorcan McGee

Physiologist: Damien Martin