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Bright start for Irish boxing as Kurt Walker scores unanimous decision win

Featherweight Kurt Walker overcame a third-round cut to march on to the last sixteen.

Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

IRISH FEATHERWEIGHT KURT Walker dug out a remarkable victory in the last-32 against Spanish opponent Jose Brotons to secure a unanimous decision. 

The Lisburn boxer started brightly but quickly got dragged into a war. Fighting out of the blue corner, his speed and sharpness in the close exchanges proved enough versus the 2017 Euros bronze medallist.

Walker won the first round convincingly. A strong right hand stung Brotons early on and from there the Irishman cruised through with backfoot boxing. “Manage the distance and you will win the fight,” was the instruction from John Conlan and Zaur Antia in the Irish corner. However, Brotons successfully transformed the bout into a brawl.

The second round was a real test of steel as much as skill. It was ferocious and frenetic. Four of the judges scored it in the red corner’s favour. 

So it was all to play for heading into the final round. Despite being cut on his eyebrow by a vicious left hook, the 26-year old kept calm and slowed the onslaught with smart bodywork. As soon as the bell rung, he wheeled away with his hand aloft. The decision duly went his way and he marches on.

The former world and European youth medallist’s task is not any easier in the next round. Walker will face a formidable challenge in Uzbekistan’s gold medal hopeful and reigning world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov.

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Yet he is far from daunted.

“Two arms, two legs like myself. I don’t care about him. He needs to worry about me,” Walker told RTE post-fight.

There is more Irish boxing action on Sunday when light heavyweight Emmet Brennan takes on Uzbekistan’s Dilshodbek Ruzmetov. That fight is set for 12.45pm Irish time. 

About the author:

Maurice Brosnan

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