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19-year-old Irvine battles his way into gold medal bout in Baku

Irvine is guaranteed a silver, but will have his eye on a different colour in tomorrow’s final.

IRELAND’S BRENDAN IRVINE earned his place in the European Games light flyweight gold medal bout with a confident and combative display in today’s semi-final.

Brendan Irvine celebrates after winning his bout against Dmytro Zamotayev Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Belfast fighter defeated Ukraine’s Dmytro Zamotayev by a unanimous points decision.

It didn’t always look like it would be so clear cut, Zamotayev forced the tempo in round one and embroiled Irvine in a punching free-for-all. Both men landed their fair share of shots in a tough round to score, but the Ukrainian got the nod from two of the judges.

From there on in however, the fight belonged to Irvine. The 19-year-old stunted the progress of Zamotayev with clever movement and accurate punching that left the Ukrainian’s counter-punch strategy ineffective.

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Brendan Irvine in action against Dmytro Zamotayev Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

All three judges scored the second round to Irvine meaning he led by a point going in to the final round, but that too was his very own platform. With Zamotayev growing desperate, Irvine kept his cool and the judges declared another clean sweep for the Belfast man.

Irvine is now guaranteed the minimum reward of a silver medal, but will fight for gold against Russia’s Bator Sagaluev in tomorrow’s final at 14.30 Irish time.

-Originally published 15.25

How he got here>>  Brendan Irvine silences home crowd to secure Ireland’s first medal at European Games

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Sean Farrell

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