Brendan Irvine stuns host nation to claim Ireland's first ever European Games medal 5 years ago

Brendan Irvine stuns host nation to claim Ireland's first ever European Games medal

Off the mark at last

Ireland's boxers were always going to be our leading hopes for medals at the European Games in Baku and they are already delivering.

Light-flyweight Brendan Irvine stunned the division's top seed, home favourite Salman Alizada, overcoming a difficult first round to completely dominate the Azerbaijan fighter en route to a split decision victory.

The 19-year-old showed composure beyond his years as he picked off his more experienced opponent at will over the final two rounds, often leaving Alizada off balance and swinging wildly at thin air.

The Belfast boxer is now guaranteed at least a bronze medal and faces Ukraine's Dmytro Zamotayev on Wednesday afternoon for a place in the final.

But there was disappointment for flyweight Céire Smith, who was on the wrong end of a split decision against Russian Saiana Sagataeva in her quarter-final.

Super heavyweight Dean Gardner also lost his quarter-final bout to Tony Yoka. The French pugilist took all three rounds in a dominant performance.