By Bernard O’Neill – IABA Press Officer
Wayne Kelly completed a hat-trick of semi-finals wins for Ireland’s three-strong squad at the Feliks Stamm tournament in Warsaw, Poland today.
The Mullingar light-welter convincingly beat Mohammed Al-Maliki of Sweden and will meet England’s Sam Maxwell, a familiar opponent for Irish boxers in the past, in Saturday’s final.
“An excellent performance from Wayne. Excellent accuracy and work rate throughout the three rounds,” said Irish head coach Billy Walsh, who is working Team Ireland’s corner with Zaur Antia in the Polish capital.
Earlier today, Current European Games champion Michael O’Reilly moved to within one win of another major gold medal this year.
The Portlaoise BC middleweight beat Poland’s Tomasz Jabolinski, a silver medallist at the 2015 European Elite Championships, on a split decision in today’s 75kg Feliks Stamm semi-final in the Polish capital.
He’ll now meet a second Polish opponent, Bartosz Gołębiewski, in Saturday’s final. Gołębiewski was slated to face Felik Cash today, but the English middle withdrew with an arm injury.
Ceire Smith won her third fight in three days to book her ticket into the 51kg final this morning.
The Cavan BC beat Yuang Chang of China on a split decision this morning after four close rounds.
Poland’s Sandra Drabik awaits in Saturday’s final.
“We have three boxers here and we have three into the finals tomorrow. We can’t do any better than that,” added Billy Walsh.
Feliks Stamm Multi Nations Warsaw, Poland
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Marlen Esparza (USA) 2-1
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Helena Envali (Sweden) 3-0
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Gavin Gwynne (Wales) 3-0
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Yuang Chang (China) 2-1
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Mohammed Al-Maliki (Sweden) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Tomasz Jabolinski (Poland) 2-1
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Sabdra Drabik (Poland)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) v Sam Maxwell (England)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Bartosz Gołębiewski (Poland)
51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
Team Manager: Billy O’Connor
Coaches; Billy Walsh: and Zauri Antia
Physiotherapist: Ursula Brooks
R/J: Larry Durand