Sport

19-year-old Irvine into the final after superb performance in Baku

SportBy Sean McGoldrick
Irvine came of age today and saw off his highly-rated opponent to secure his place in the final
Irvine came of age today and saw off his highly-rated opponent to secure his place in the final

Nineteen year old Brendan Irvine came of age in Baku today when he produced a superb performance to qualify for the light flyweight final at the European Games.

The Belfast boxer has emerged as one of the stars of the tournament and he stamped his class on proceedings today when he outclassed highly rated Ukrainian Dmytro Zamotayev in the semi-final.
 
The win assured him of at least a silver medal and his performance will earn him a place at the World Boxing championships in Doho later this year.
 
Ironically, Irvine’s fellow Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has already qualified for next year’s Olympics in Rio in the 49kg class which raises the possibility of Irvine moving up to flyweight in order to enhance his prospects of making it to Rio.
 
On two of the judges’ cards Irvine lost the first round but from there to the finish Irvine completely dominated the fight.  
 
He delivered a master class in the final round constantly forcing his offence on the back foot and the Irish fighter scored with a barrage of punches.
 
In the end Irvine got the verdict on an unanimous 3-0 decision (30-27; 29;28; 29-28)
 
The Belfast boxer will now meet twenty three year old Russian Bator Sagaluev in tomorrow’s (Thursday) final. Irvine has a  hree inch height advantage over the Russian.