Michaela Walsh loses in European Games final


Michaela Walsh has been beaten in the final of the European Games this afternoon.

The Belfast featherweight was edged out by Bulgarian Stanimira Petrova in the Belarussian capital of Minsk.

Walsh dropped a split decision following a tight encounter and will return home with silver.

In Petrova she faced a gargantuan challenge. The Bulgarian was a Rio Olympian at flyweight, a world and continental champion at bantamweight, and is the reigning European featherweight queen.

Walsh had made the final the hard way, first beating Romanian Lenuta Perijoc before a stunning win over reigning world champ Ornella Wahner of Germany to guarantee a medal and then claiming a rematch win over Russia Daria Abramova in the semis. #3 seed Petrova, on the other hand, received a bye then defeated Frenchwoman Mona Mestiaen and Dutch fighter Jemyma Betrian.

It was cagey for most of the of the contest, with Walsh presented with a fast and technical opponent. The Belfast boxer did put on a big finish in the third round, feeling she had done enough, but it wasn’t to be. A split decision, again, was ruled and this time Walsh came out the wrong side of a 4-1 (27-30 x2, 28-29 x2, 29-28).

While Walsh’s mantra is ‘gold medals only’, today’s silver is yet another massive achievement for the Monkstown talent to go with her two Commonwealth Games silvers, European bronze, and European Union gold.

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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]