Aidan Walsh aiming to get Ireland back up and running at Worlds

Aidan Walsh makes his World Elite Championships bow today against Israel's Miroslav Kapuler, with England's Pat McCormack waiting in the next round for the winner. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

BELFAST’S Aidan Walsh bids to get Ireland back to winning ways today after Regan Buckley and Wayne Kelly exited the World Elite Championships in Russia.

Both lost on 3-2 split decisions in Yekaterinburg, flyweight Buckley being edged out by Aldoms Suquor while Kelly exited at the hands of Trinidad & Tobago’s Matthew Alexander.

Buckley was the first to go in the early session, losing the first round to Suquor despite wobbling the Indonesian with a big right hand.

However, Buckley came back strongly in the second, walking down his elusive opponent and closing the space on Suquor heading into the last.

There was little to split the pair in the third and final round as both tired, but it was the Asian Games quarter-finalist who got the nod from the five judges sat at ringside.

Portlaoise light-welter Kelly, meanwhile, found the target with solid shots in all three rounds of an engaging all-southpaw battle, but again the majority of the judges favoured the counter-punching of the man from the Caribbean.

After a day of disappointment then, it is up to Walsh to get the show back on the road when meets Israeli welter Miroslav Kapuler in the last 64.

Should the Monkstown counter-puncher come through that test, Walsh would then renew his rivalry with England’s Pat McCormack in the round of 32.

McCormack, who is the number two seed at 69kg, was too strong for the north Belfast man when they met in the 2018 Commonwealth Games final. However, Walsh will have learned plenty from that defeat and has the tools to trouble the 24-year-old from Sunderland.

Portlaoise middleweight Michael Nevin is between the ropes tomorrow against Lithuanian Vytautas Balsys in the last 32, while European Games gold medallist Kurt Walker enters the fray on Sunday, taking on Columbia’s David Avila.

Dublin heavyweight Kiril Afanasev will also be in action on Sunday when he faces Bulgaria’s Radoslav Panaleev.

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