Ireland experienced contrasting fortunes at the European Games after winning three out of five bouts in Minsk, Belarus.

All of today’s wins and losses were on 4-1 split decisions.

Kurt Walker, Michaela Walsh and Grainne Wash advanced to within striking distance of at least bronze at the 44-nation tournament.

But Dean Gardiner and Kieran Molloy bowed out in the super heavy and welter classes.

Walker, the No. 4 seed in Minsk, came through a tough battle with fiery Armenian bantam Zhirayr Saeqsyan. Saeqsyan found the target with some big shots in rounds one and two, but Walker landed the majority of cleaner punches in an up-tempo three rounder.

Final scores: 29-28,30-27,29-28,30-27 to Walker and 29-28 against.

Michaela Walsh recorded her third straight win over Romania feather Lenuta Perijoc in the 57kg division to set up a quarter-final with Germany’s current World Elite champion Ornella Wahner on Wednesday,

Final scores: 30-27,30-27,29-28,29-28 to Michaela Walsh and 29-28 against.

Grainne Walsh progressed to the last eight following a top class 4-1 win over Rosie Eccles of Team GB.

A massive performance from the Offaly welter to earn 30-27,30-27,29-28, 29-28 scores with one 29-28 against.

“It’s always a tough fight with GB and I’ve fought that girl before and it was another close decision today,” she said.

“All the people in my weight are up there at world level so there’s no easy draw. I’m just happy to get the first one done. She was very tough, very physical, it was a great scrap, a proper dog fight and I’m delighted with the win.”


Dean Gardiner was beaten by Georgia’s Mikheil Bakhtidze.

The Tipp super heavy took the first round of a hard-punching contest 3-2, but Bakhtidze won rounds two and three on four and five of the cards.

Final scores: 30-26,30-27,29-28,29-28 against and 29-28 to Gardiner.

Kieran Molloy, the last Irish boxer in action today, had a tremendous final round against Yauheni Dauhaliavets but the Belarusian welter and No. 7 seed had enough in the bank to progress, according to four of the five judges.

Final scores – 30-27,30-27,29-28,29-28 – with one judge giving Molloy all three rounds (30-27).


“Our final performer of the day just lost out in a fantastic bout on a split decision. Was a superb contest. Kieran Molloy gave all he had,” said IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne.

Regan Buckley, Michael Nevin, Aoife O’Rourke and James McGivern are in action in the last 8 and last 16 tomorrow.

If Buckley and Nevin win Ireland will be guaranteed at least two bronze medals.

Likewise with Kellie Harrington, who received a bye into the last eight, Kurt Walker, Grainne Walsh and Michaela Walsh on Wednesday.

Harrington, the No.1 seed and World Elite lightweight champion, is in against Italy’s Irma Testa, who the Dubliner has beaten twice in the past, for a place in the 60kg semi-final.

Click here for Tuesday’s card.

European Games 2019 Minsk, Belarus


June 24

Last 16

56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Zhirayr Saeqsyan (Armenia) 4-1
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Lenuta Perijoc (Romania) 4-1
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Yauheni Dauhaliavets (Belarus) 4-1
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Rosie Eccles (Team GB) 4-1
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Mikheil Bakhtidze (Georgia) 1-4

June 25

Last 16

64kg James McGivern (Ireland) v Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoryia Kebikova (Belarus)


49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) V Martin Molina (Spain)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Guler Serhat (Turkey)

June 26


56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Samuel Kistohurry (France)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Ornella Warner (Germany)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Irma Testa (Italy)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Elina Gustafsson (Finland)


June 22

Last 32

69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Goce Janeski (Northern Macedonia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Mark Dickinson (Team GB) 3-2

June 23

Last 16

49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) beat Bator Sagalvev (Russia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 5-0
91kg Anthony Browne (Ireland) lost to Toni Filipi (Croatia) 1-4

Last 32

64kg James McGivern (Ireland) beat Michael Takacs (Slovakia) 5-0


Irish squad


57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)

69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)


49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s)

56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)

64kg James McGivern (St George’s)

69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk