Irish boxers have an almost perfect day in Baku

Darren O'Neill wins in Baku
Darren O'Neill wins in Baku

All but one of the Irish boxers were victorious at the inaugural European Games today.

Former European middleweight silver medallist Darren O’Neill has kicked off his bid for glory in the heavyweight division at the inaugural European Games with a comfortable win in Baku.

The Kilkenny southpaw is through to the last 16 in the Azeri capital having outclassed Romania’s Ionut Jitaru in a first round bout.

The scoring on the judges’ cards reflected O’Neill superiority with the London Olympian winning 30-27; 30-26, 30-24.

Limerick flyweight Myles Casey got the Irish campaign off to a winning start against Ivan Fihurenka of Belarus in the first boxing match at the Games.

At the Crystal Hall venue a big performance from the Irish Elite champion in the third round swung the contest in his favour. He won the fight on a unanimous 29-28 verdict on all three judges’ cards.

Casey is now through to the last 16 where he’ll meet Elvin Mamushzada of Azerbaijan.

There was no joy, however, for twenty-year old bantamweight Kurt Walker who dropped a majority decision against talented Russian Nazirov Bakhtovar.

The Russian took the first round on two of the judges’ cards, and that ultimately proved to be enough to secure victory in a very tight contest.

London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan and Michael O’Reilly are in action on Wednesday in Baku in the welter and middleweight categories respectively.

Nolan will be in the ring at 9:15am with O’Reilly’s fight scheduled for 4.15pm (Irish times).

Olympic champion Katie Taylor makes her Baku debut on Sunday against Bulgarian Denista Eliseeva, the last boxer to beat the Bray lightweight in February 2011.