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Walsh shows he has a bright future after tight defeat by McCormack


Aidan Walsh
Aidan Walsh
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Welterweight Aidan Walsh saw his stock rise despite exiting the World Championships at the hands of Pat McCormack in Russia yesterday.

The Monkstown ABC boxer picked his punches well and used his movement to good effect in a tight bout, which was a rematch of their 2018 Commonwealth Games final when McCormack was a clear winner.

There was little between the two men after three competitive rounds but it was evident that Walsh felt much more comfortable battling McCormack second time around and further duels between the two would be very intriguing.

McCormack, the No.2 seed, was handed a split decision victory with three judges voting for the Great Britain fighter and two for Walsh, which was a fair reflection - 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 27-30, 28-29.

Walsh, who won on his World debut versus Miroslav Kapuler-Cishchenko of Israel last Friday, seemed to tire a little in the third before digging deep to produce an impressive final 60 seconds as he pumped out his straight lefts and rights.

Fellow Antrim ace Kurt Walker, the last Irish boxer remaining, meets Canada's Robin Basran for a place in the featherweight quarter-finals today. The bout is a repeat of the 2018 Commonwealth semi-final, which Walker won.

Michael Nevin also bowed out of the Championships in Ekaterinburg on a 3-2 split decision as the Portlaoise BC man fell to Crimea-born Gleb Bakshi at middleweight.

Bakshi, the No.8 seed, got the nod to advance to meet Cuba's No.1 seed and current Olympic champion Arlen Cardona-Lopez in the last eight with scores of 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 27-30, 28-29.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the European qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 will be held in London.

The event will take place at the Copper Box Arena from March 14-24, giving 77 boxers their first opportunity to seal a spot at the Games.

The qualification process has been in limbo since the International Olympic Committee suspended boxing's international federation, AIBA, in June due to corruption concerns. The IOC has set up its own task force to run the Olympic boxing competition and qualifying campaign, meaning the ongoing World Championships do not act as a qualifier.

Boxers are expected to get a second chance to qualify for Tokyo via a subsequent global qualification event.

Belfast Telegraph


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