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Walker can learn from his World exit

 

Brave effort: Kurt Walker
Brave effort: Kurt Walker
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Kurt Walker will leave the World Championships with valuable experience gained and an understanding that he will have to move up another level in order to gain a medal at next year's Olympic Games.

Sharpshooting Walker boxed well against Mongolian southpaw Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in their 57kg quarter-final bout in Ekaterinburg, Russia and going into the final round there was little between them.

Indeed, after losing the opening round, European Games gold medallist Walker was able to land some fine left leads as he drew his opponent into range. A stinging right hand certainly stunned the stocky Mongolian momentarily but just when it seemed the momentum was moving his way, the tables turned.

Erdenebat maintained a tight guard in the final three minutes and despite being the smaller man he managed to shift forward and land solid, eye-catching blows before covering up and blocking Walker's counters as the Lisburn man sought to regain the initiative.

The final minute and a half seemed to swing the bout firmly in favour of the Mongolian, who was handed a unanimous verdict, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

Defeat for Walker means that for the first time since 2007, no Irish boxer will be returning home with a medal.

• Belfast's Tyrone McKenna will take part in the new Golden Contract light-welterweight tournament which starts on November 22 at the York Hall, Bethnal Green.

The tournament is similar in format to the successful World Boxing Super Series, which will see quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final over the period of around nine months with the overall winner guaranteed a six-figure purse for their subsequent bout with a leading promoter.

McKenna is joined in the event by, among others, his long-time rival Ohara Davies.

McKenna's fellow Northern Ireland boxer Tyrone McCulluagh will be part of the featherweight tournament, which starts next month.

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