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Brendan Irvine has the tools to beat Reece McFadden says coach Ralph McKay

Brendan Irvine comes up against Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Reece McFadden tomorrow. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

THE coach of Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine believes his man has the tools to defeat Scotland’s Reece McFadden in tomorrow’s flyweight semi-final.

McFadden shot to fame in Glasgow four years ago when he stunned gold medal favourite Andrew Selby in his first fight, before going on to land a bronze medal in front of his home supporters.

And now Irvine is hoping to claim his scalp after battling past the non-stop Rajab Mahommed in last eight yesterday. Four of the ringside judges had him winning narrowly, 29-28, with the other having the same score in favour of Mahommed after an intense battle.

“It was a good scrap, it was all toe-to-toe, the guy was relentless,” said St Paul’s coach Ralph McKay.

“He really took it to Brendan but Brendan landed the cleaner punches, the more accurate shots. Your man threw a lot but Brendan’s defence was good and high.

“He’s buzzing, he’s relaxed, feeling confident and taking it one fight at a time. He didn’t really know much about the opponent, the same the first day.

“These boys are coming to try and make a statement.”

Where he knew little about his previous two opponents, Irvine will know plenty about McFadden, while McKay has studied the two fights that brought him to this stage.

Ands he is confident that ‘Wee Rooster’ can book his place in Saturday’s final.

“McFadden will suit Brendan better than the other two,” he said.

“His guard’s a lot wider, he leaves himself wide open and Brendan’s a very accurate puncher.

McFadden will probably be technically better than the others Brendan’s been in with, but if he boxes the way he has against his two opponents so far he’ll walk into big punches.

“It should be an interesting fight, but I honestly believe Brendan has the attributes to beat him. If Brendan boxes the way we know he can, McFadden could be in trouble.”

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE

51kg semi-final: Carly McNaul v Christine Ongare (Kenya) (3.15am approx)

52kg semi-final: Brendan Irvine v Reece McFadden (Scotland) (4.45am approx)

60kg semi-final: James McGivern v Manish Kaushik (India) (5am approx)

57kg semi-final: Michaela Walsh v Alexis Pritchard (NZ) (9.30am approx)

56kg semi-final: Kurt Walker v Eric Basran (Canada) (10.30am approx)

69kg semi-final: Aidan Walsh v Winston Hill (Fiji) (11am approx)

75kg semi-final: Steven Donnelly v Vikas Krishan (India) (11.30am approx)

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