Billy Walsh in the corner as USA secure their first boxing medal of Rio 2016

Meanwhile, the man who beat Paddy Barnes lost out at the quarter-final stage.

Nico Hernandez with Billy Walsh Source: Dan Sheridan

ASIDE FROM FROM the boxers preparing their game faces for the Olympic Games and the IABA, almost everyone seemed to agree that Billy Walsh’s trans-Atlantic move last year was bad news for Ireland and great news for the USA.

Tonight, at least the second part of that theory is ringing true as the Walsh-trained light flyweight Nico Hernandez secured his country’s first boxing medal of the Games.

Hernandez defeated Ecuador’s Carlos Quipo Plataxi by unanimous decision in this evening’s sub 49kg quarter-final to advance to a semi-final and guaranteed medal against Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov.

In the other semi-final will be world champion Joahnys Argilagos of Cuba against Colombian Yuberjen Martinez Rivas – who reached the final four by seeing off the man who ended Paddy Barnes’ Games, Spaniard Samuel Carmona Heredia, on a split decision.

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Sean Farrell

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