Dean Gardiner shocks Ukraine – now 2 wins from Rio

In what was the biggest win of his super heavyweight career, Dean Gardiner defeated fancied Ukrainian Viktor Vykhryst in the quarter finals of the final AOB Olympic qualifier in Azerbaijan.

The Tipperary big man took the bout on a unanimous decision (29-28) to put himself in the +91kg final and leave himself just two wins away from Rio.

Gardiner won the opening two rounds, leaving his Ukrainian opponent needing a huge final round, and while Vykhryst won the third stanza, Gardiner took the bout.

Breakfast will fight in the semi finals of the tournament in Baku on Friday afternoon. His opponent will be Moldova’s Alexei Zavatin who defeated Russian Maxim Babanin today via a third round technical knockout due to an injury.

The Clonmel BC giant needs to win the tournament outright to qualify for Rio.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]