Kurt Walker is the new European Games 56kg champion after recording his 4th successive win of the week in Minsk today.

The Antrim bantam topped the podium following a stunning victory over Ukrainian southpaw Mykola Butsenko.

Walker took all three rounds to post a 30-27 x 3 and 29-28 x 2 in a unanimous decision verdict in a repeat of the 2017 European Elite semi-final which Butsenko won.

He won four fights en route to the title at the 2nd edition of the Games.

The new European Games champion took the first round on all cards and won frames two and three 4-1 to cap a stunning performance at the Uruchie Sports Palace venue.

Walker was 100%, by a mile, after the victory and hailed the contributions of the Irish coaches Zaur Antia, John Conlan and Dmitry Dimitruk and staff after the victory.

The current European Union champion beat opponents from Armenia, France, England and Ukraine to secure gold.

“I actually can’t describe how good I feel. The game plan, everything was perfect. I want to thank the coaches, the backroom staff, everyone for it,” he said.

“It’s the best moment in my life, 100 per cent, by a mile.”

Earlier, Irish captain Kellie Harrington had to withdraw from today’s lightweight final with Finland’s Mira Potkonen because of a hand injury.

Potkonen claims the lightweight title on a walkover.

Harrington injured her right hand in her last four-win over Agnes Alexiusson of Sweden.

“I’m disappointed to not be competing but I understand that there’s a bigger picture to be taken into account, said the Irish skipper.

“It would be too much of a risk to go in there and have another setback. I totally respect the advice of the medical staff and the decision of the Performance Director.

Bernard Dunne, IABA High-Performance Director, stated that the injury was unfortunate.

“It is unfortunate that hand injuries are part and parcel of boxing, but we need to manage it the right way to ensure a quick return to action,” he said.

Harrington will be taking home silver from the Games.

The total haul for Irish boxing is gold, two silver and three bronze.

Walker (gold), Harrington (silver), Michaela Walsh (silver), Regan Buckley (bronze), Michael Nevin (bronze) and Grainne Walsh (bronze) finished in podium positions in Minsk.

Zaur Antia, John Conlan and Dmitry Dimitruk worked Ireland’s corner in Minsk.

Team Ireland are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 11am tomorrow morning.

Irish boxing has won ten medals – three gold, three silver and four bronze – at the European Games.


2nd European Games Minsk 2019

56kg Kurt Walker (Gold)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Silver)

60kg Kellie Harrington (Silver)

49kg Regan Buckley (Bronze)

69kg Grainne Walsh (Bronze)

75kg Michael Nevin (Bronze)

1st European Games Baku 2015

60kg Katie Taylor (Gold)

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Gold)

49kg Brendan Irvine (Silver)

60kg Sean McComb (Bronze)



European Games 2019 Minsk, Belarus

June 30


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland) W/0
(Harrington withdrew because of a hand injury)

56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Mykola Butsenko (Ukraine) 5-0

June 29


57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Stanmira Petrova (Bulgaria) 1-4

June 28


49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) lost to Artur Hovannisyan (Armenia) 2-3

56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Peter McGrail (Team GB) 3-2

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Daria Amramova (Russia) 3-2

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 5-0

69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) lost to Karolina Koszewska (Poland) 2-3

75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) lost to Salavtore Cavallaro (Italy) KO1

June 26


56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Samuel Kistohurry (France) 5-0

57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Ornella Wahner (Germany) 4-1

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Irma Testa (Italy) 4-1

69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Elina Gustafsson (Finland) 5-0

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to Lauren Price (Team GB) 0-5

June 25

Last 16

64kg James McGivern (Ireland) lost to Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia) 0-5

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Viktoryia Kebikova (Belarus) 4-1


49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) beat Martin Molina (Spain) 4-1

75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Guler Serhat (Turkey) 4-1

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 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

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

Irish squad


57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A) (Silver)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys) (Silver)

69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus) (Bronze)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)


49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s) (Bronze)

56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) (Gold)

64kg James McGivern (St George’s)

69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) (Bronze)

91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk
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