Another Irish boxer through to Euro quarter-finals

Kurt Walker
Kurt Walker

Bantamweight Kurt Walker is through to the quarter-finals of the European boxing championships in the Ukraine.

He defeated number two seed Tayfur Aliyev on a split decision in Kharkiv.

This victory means that he will join fellow Ulster boxers, Brendan Irvine and Sean McComb at the World championship in Hamburg in August/September.

Seen by some as a natural successor to reigning World, European and Commonwealth bantamweight champion Michael Conlan, Walker justified some of the hype with a workman like performance against the Azeri fighter who had received a bye into the last 16.

Walker suffered a cut in his opening fight and the wound over his right brow opened up in the final round. But a series of scoring punches near the end of the contest swung the narrow decision in favour of Walker.

He will now fight Italian Raffaele Di Serio in the quarter-finals on Thursday afternoon with the winner guaranteed a bronze medal and a place in the semi-final of the 56kg class in which Conlan (2015) and John Joe Nevin (2013) are the last two European title holders.