Kurt Walker secures at least bronze with straightforward quarter-final win at EU Championships
KURT Walker secured at least a bronze medal at the European Union Championships with a one-sided victory over Poland’s Jaroslav Iwanow in Valladolid, Spain yesterday.
The Canal counter-puncher, who had to wait six days for his quarter-final fight after beating Bulgaria’s Stefan Ivanov last Friday, showed no signs of ring rust as he took control from the off.
Boxing beautifully from range, Iwanow bought Walker’s feints every time as the tall Lisburn man repeatedly landed long rights to head and body.
The Pole was offering little but started to unload towards the end of the first, though Walker was comfortable keeping his distance and landing crisp counters.
It was much the same in the second round as Walker went on the front foot, stalking Iwanow and landing long, straight shots through the Pole’s guard, leaving his face marked up by the time the bell sounded.
The 23-year-old bantamweight stayed behind the jab in the third as Iwanow came forward in desperation but there was no way back into the fight, a flashing right hand to the jaw seconds before the bell an impressive final flourish as Walker moved into the semi-final at his ease.
He will meet strong, tough Georgian Artyush Gomtsyan in the last four tomorrow after he dropped Belgium’s on Sezai Buruklar en route to booking his semi spot.
On the other side of the draw England’s Peter McGrail – who beat Walker to Commonwealth Games gold back in April – advanced with victory over Spain’s Jose Quiles Brotons
Meanwhile, there is another Ireland-England clash today when Kieran Molloy meets Pat McCormack in a mouth-watering welterweight semi-final today.
Galway’s Molloy is seen as one of the rising stars of Irish boxing and has had two impressive wins thus far, defeating Belgium’s Ruben Veciunoa before scoring a split decision victory over Italy’s Vincenzo Arecchia last time out.
However, McCormack represents a huge step up in class. A two-time European silver medallist, the 23-year-old Sunderland native won Commonwealth Games gold in Australia earlier this year – beating Belfast’s Aidan Walsh in the final.