Dublin International Round Robin – Irish boxers review

21 Irish boxers were in action over the weekend as Europe’s big guns rolled into town.

An International round robin took place at the National Stadium, with Ireland being pitted against top boxers from Russia, France, Italy, and Germany.

Below is a run-through of how each and every Irish boxer got on.

49kg – Blaine Dobbins (St Joseph’s Derry)
1 fight, 1 loss
The 2017 Elite Senior champion made his international debut against one of the top light flyweights in the world, with the Derry man losing a unanimous decision to reigning European champion and World Championships runner-up Vasilii Egorov of Russia)

49kg – Connor Jordan (St Aidan’s)
1 fight, 1 loss
The Wexford teen, defeated by Dobbins in the Elite Senior semi finals, also made his Elite international debut. Jordan lost a unanimous decision to German Salam Abranim.

52kg – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
2 fights, 1 win, 1 loss
The Rio Olympian opened his weekend with a 4-1 win over Russian #2 Tamil Galonov. The following day the ‘Wee Rooster’ would be edged on a 3-2 split by Russian WSB veteran Vyacheslav Tashkarakov.

52kg – Thomas McCarthy (Brian Dillon’s)
0 fights
The Cork youngster, Intermediate champion and Elite Senior runner-up, was not matched over the weekend.

56kg – Kurt Walker (Canal)
3 fights, 2 wins, 1 loss
The Antrim fighter started his weekend off with some revenge against Russian star Bakhtovar Nazirov, who defeated Walker on a split in the opening round of he 2015 European Games – and would go on to claim gold. This time round however Walker claimed an impressive 4-1 win. The Ulsterman was then beaten unanimously by French champ Jordan Rodriguez, but rounded off his weekend with a dominant win over Russian #2 Nazir Balaev.

56kg – Stevie McKenna (Old School)
3 fights, 2 wins, 1 loss
The former underage star and recent Elite Senior runner-up began the weekend with a loss to Frenchman Rodriguez but would follow this up with two impressive wins – first against German champ Dominik Hirsch and then a destructive victory over Raffaele Di Serio, inflicting two counts on the 2015 European Youth gold medalist.

60kg – Pat Mongan (Olympic)
3 fights, 2 wins, 1 loss.
Making his Elite international debut, the Galway man hit the headlines with a 4-1 split decision win over ‘Conlan Conqueror’ Vladimir Nikitin. Mongan was then beaten by Rio silver medalist Sofiane Oumiha of France, but rounded out his weekend with another notable scalp – a split decision win over Germany’s 2010 Youth Olympic and World champion Arthur Brill after the bout was stopped in the first due to a clash of heads.

60kg – Kelly Harrington (St Mary’s)
2 fights, 2 wins
Ireland’s new top lightweight had a flawless weekend. The World silver medalist defeated Frenchwoman Flora Pili, before defeating Rio Olympian and former underage star Irma Testa of Italy.

60kg – George Bates (St Mary’s)
3 fights, 1 win, 2 losses
The Tallaght boxer started his weekend with a notably competitive loss to Sofiane Oumiha and followed this up with a big win over Artur Brill. The final Irish boxer in action yesterday, Bates was defeated on a close split by Italian Giuseppe Canonico.

64kg – Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
3 fights, 3 wins
The star of the weekend for Ireland, McComb opened his account on Friday with a comfortable win over Russian #2 Altay Dyaronov and followed this up with another win against Frenchman Wahlid Hambi. Then on Sunday the Belfast boxer claimed a huge scalp, defeating reigning world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Vitaly Dunaystev on a split decision.

64kg – Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy)
3 fights, 3 losses
The talented midlander lost all three of his bouts, but gained some valuable experience against Hambi, Dyaronov, and Russian 2013 European bronze medalist Dimitri Polaianski.

69kg – Dean Walsh (St Ibar’s/St Joseph’s)
2 fights, 1 win, 1 loss
The Wexford fighter continued his adjustment to welterweight with a close split decision loss to Russian WSB star Sergei Sobylinskii before claiming a unanimous win over German Christian Dezel.

69kg – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
3 fights, 2 wins, 1 loss
An impressive weekend for Donnelly saw the Ballymena boxer defeat Russian WSB fighter Artem Zaytsev before beating German Wladiuri Frunsorger. The Rio Olympian was then very harshly adjudged to have lost a split to Italy’s 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist Vincenzo Arecchia.

75kg – Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
0 fights
The former underage star was set to box on the opening day, but was a last-minute pull-out.

75kg – Emmet Brennan (Glasnevin)
1 fight, 1 loss
Ireland’s #1 middleweight was defeated in his only bout by Russian Olympian, WSB star, and reigning European champion Petr Khamukov.

75kg – Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
2 fights, 2 wins
The Cork middleweight, one of the emerging stars of the Irish team, claimed two comfortable unanimous decision wins over Italian Assuna Canfora.

75kg – Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus)
1 fight, 1 win
The Offaly welter, boxing at middle, also scored an assured victory over Assunta Canfora.

81kg – Tony Browne (St Michael’s)
1 fight, 1 loss
The Dubliner’s weekend was cut short, literally, after an opening round cut in his first bout with Georgii Kushitshvii saw him withdrawn from the weekend’s activities.

81kg – Michael Frayne (St Mary’s)
3 fights, 3 losses
The Tallaght light heavyweight was given a taste of Elite international competion, figting Italian Federico Antonaci and Frenchman Diabira Mamadou (twice). A good learning experience for the Dub.

91kg – Ken Okungbowa (Athlone)
2 fights, 2 wins
The Athlone big man scored an impressive win on the opening day against Rio Olympian and European U22 champion Paul Omba Biongolo of France, before following this up with another unanimous win over German Nikolas Weizman.

91kg – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
2 fights, 1 win, 1 loss
The Kilkenny veteran was edged out in an extremely tight fight with Russian Olympic champion Evgeny Tischenko, a bout O’Neill believes he did enough in to win. The Rio Olympian then defeated Omba Biongolo on Saturday.

+91kg – Martin Keenan (Rathkeale)
1 fight, 1 win
The Tipperary big man scored a hugely impressive win over Russian Ivan Veriasov, but a cut sustained in the bout saw him taken out of action for the remainder of the weekend.

+91kg – Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
3 fights, 2 wins, 1 loss
Making his return to international action, Breakfast opened his account with a good split decision win over Frenchman Djamili Dini Aboudou. A loss to top Russian Artyum Solslekkov followed, again on a split, before Gardiner claimed a revenge victory over Italy’s Guido Vianello – the man who defeated him in an Olympic box-off last Summer.

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]