Boxing

James McGivern among Irish trio in European Youth finals

James McGivern (left) is through to the European Youth Championship finals in Poland on Saturday 
Neil Loughran

BELFAST boxer James McGivern, Stephen McKenna from the Old School club in Clones and Michael Nevin were in impressive form as they moved into the finals of the European Youth Championships in Kolobrzeg, Poland on Friday.

St George's lightweight McGivern, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in September, showed his ring craft in an all southpaw battle with Temiran Khangishev of Russia. He meets Germany's Denis Gashi on Saturday.

McKenna, a fellow Commonwealth gold medal winner in Samoa, beat Hamset Shadalaow of Germany on a unanimous decision to make Saturday’s 49kg final, where he is up against Azerbaijan's Ruslan Rustamov.

Nevin, meanwhile, beat Russia’s current World Youth champion Bibert Tumenov to confirm his status as one of the hottest prospects on the international circuit. The Portlaoise BC welter meets Ismayil Huseynov of Azerbaijan.

While there was celebrations for that trio, there was disappointment for St Michael’s, Athy pair John Joyce and Willie Donoghue, who will make his Irish Elite debut against European Games silver medalist Brendan Irvine next weekend. They had to settle for bronze after close contests against Russian and English opponents respectively.

“We’re disappointed we don’t have five in the finals," admitted Irish coach John Conlan.

"Three gold is the target tomorrow."

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