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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 24 August, 2019
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Walker steps closer to boxing gold

Lisburn’s Kurt Walker will face Oliver Simpson of Leeds in the flyweight semi-finals of the World Youth Boxing Championships.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

KURT WALKER ENSURED that Ireland won’t come home empty-handed as he kept his gold medal hopes alive at the World Youth Boxing Championships in Armenia.

Walker dominated his quarter-final against Ian Bautista this afternoon to guarantee a bronze medal at minimum and set up a final four showdown against Oliver Simpson of England.

But there was disappointment in Yerevan for Ireland’s other quarter-finalist as Dubliner John Joe McDonagh was well beaten in the light-heavyweight division.

Walker, who boxes out of Canal BC in Lisburn, will be back in the ring on Thursday evening when he faces Leeds boxer Simpson for a place in the flyweight final.

The Antrim lad took the early initiative against Bautista from the Philippines and, armed with a five-point lead heading into the final round, comfortably closed out a 19-12 victory.

Walker and McDonagh were the last Irish fighters standing on Tuesday from the seven-man squad which team manager Stephen Connolly brought to the Worlds.

McDonagh fell behind in the first round of his quarter-final and struggled to close the gap on Russia’s Idris Shakhmanov from that point, eventually losing 15-7.

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Niall Kelly

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