All ten weight classes were in quarter-final action on day five of the EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Kolobrzeg, Poland, and it was the Irish team that emerged unscathed as all five of its boxers went through to the semi-finals.
AIBA Junior World Champion William Donoghue led the way with an eye-catching performance against Ukraine’s Andriy Tyshkovets in the 52kg flyweight class. It set the tone for his team-mates as Commonwealth Youth Games winner Stephen McKenna summoned up an inspired display to knock down Lithuania’s Deivydas Puodzinas in the third round and win the contest without having to trouble the judges.
“I boxed well today and was happy to get the stoppage. I wanted to keep him at a distance at the end of my punches and I caught him with some very big shots. I have trained very hard for this event, I feel fit and I am looking forward to the semi-final bout against Germany,” said McKenna after his match.
Fellow Commonwealth Youth Games winner James McGivern, Michael Nevin and EUBC European Schoolboys Champion John Joyce also won on an incredible afternoon in the ring for the Irish. Akash Tuqir, meanwhile, will be the last Englishman standing after the flyweight sensation, standing a full 20cm taller than his Slovakian opponent Filip Meszaros, edged through their quarter-final
Arslan Khataev was too strong for Turkey’s Alagas Ihsan in the bantamweight class to guarantee Finland a medal, and he was followed by Romania’s best youth boxer Robert Jitaru, who defeated EUBC European Junior Champion Vladimir Strygin, giving Russia only their second taste of defeat so far at the tournament.
“I think I won a key bout here in the championships. It was a real battle against the Russian but I showed stronger tactical elements than Strygin in the quarter-final. I feel relaxed after my third bout and I trust in my abilities,” said Jitaru.
Moldova’s 2014 EUBC European Youth Champion Dorin Bucsa won’t be defending his title after losing out to Russia’s Temirlan Khangishiev, while another reigning champion, Germany’s Peter Kadiru, did manage to advance to the semi-final after beating Lithuania’s Dovydas Sernas.
Hungary’s Mark Kontrecz knocked down Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev in the third round of their thrilling repeat of the Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament final earlier in the year, but it wasn’t quite enough to sway the judges.
“I feel amazing after the bout, it was very difficult to defeat the Hungarian boxer. I knew him after the event in Turkey but he was much better than last month. I think my semi-final opponent will also be strong, but I am confident that I can beat anyone in Kolobrzeg,” said Georgia’s 17-year-old Eskerkhan Madiev after his sensational triumph.