Kellie Harrington is through to the lightweight final at the Strandja multi-nations following an impressive victory over Denica Eliseeva  in Sofia, Bulgaria today.

The Dubliner beat the Bulgarian, who holds a decision over Katie Taylor from the 2011 Strandja final, on a unanimous decision.

But Roscommon middleweight Aoife O’Rourke had to settle for bronze after losing to Naomi Graham of the USA.

“Excellent performance from Kellie,” said Bernard Dunne, IABA High-Performance Director.

Boxing well within herself in a composed performance from an athlete in her third fight in successive days since returning from a hand injury sustained at the European Games last June, Harrington won all three rounds.

The 2018 World Elite champion found the target with right hooks and solid combinations throughout today’s encounter. Eliseeva threatened with left hooks but never really troubled the Irishwoman.

Harrington will be back between the ropes boxing for gold tomorrow versus Finland’s Mira Potkonen.

O’Rourke and Naomi Graham traded leather from the opening to the closing bell, with the Irishwoman ending the second round well and impressing for the first minute of the third.

Both women finished strong going down the final stretch, but the American advanced at the expense of the European titlist on a unanimous verdict.

Saturday’s finals begin at 12pm (Irish time).

Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria January 20/25

January 25


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) versus Mira Potkonen (Finland)

January 24


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Denica Eliseeva (Bulgaria) 5-0
60kg Mira Potkonen (Finland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) Pts
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to  Naomi Graham (USA) 0-5
75kg Davina Michel (France) beat Anastasiia Chernoklenko (Ukraine) Pts

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) 0-5
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Jones Oshae (USA) W/O
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Flavia Figuerdo (Brazil) 3-2

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) (Silver, at least)

60kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) (Bronze)


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