Ireland’s Dearbhla Tinnelly wins gold at European Youth Championships

Dearbhla Tinnelly is the new Irish boxing European champion.

Dundalk’s light heavyweight outclassed Ukraine’s Karine Airapetian to win the gold medal at the European Youth (U-18) Championships in Sofia this afternoon.

A member of Dundalk-based Clann Naofa boxing club, she has already won a European silver medal at U-14 level in 2018 and a silver medal at junior (U-16) level three years ago.

In her third fight at the championships, Tinnelly dominated against the Ukrainian. From her southpaw position, she controlled the first two rounds to establish an unassailable lead on points.

The two scored a point in the final round as Airapetian desperately tried to salvage the contest.

But the extent of Tinnelly’s dominance was reflected in the judges’ scorecards. Four of the ringside officials scored the fight 29-26 in his favor while a judge won it by a four-point margin 29-25.

It was the first time that Ireland entered female boxers in the heaviest weight classes at this level, but unfortunately at Olympic level the heaviest weight class for women is 75kg.

Unfortunately, there was no joy for Mayo light middleweight Laura Moran who lost on a 3-2 split decision to defending champion Veronika Nakota of Ukraine. However, Moran wins a silver medal.

Moran got off to a dream start in her gold medal fight by winning the first round 4-1. But Nakota won round two on the five-judge card and she also did enough in the final stanza to sneak home by the narrowest of margins.

The Ukrainian is a remarkable prospect; it was her third European gold medal, so Moran, a member of St Anne’s boxing club, may be delighted to have run it so close.

In tonight’s session at Sofia Hall, Ireland’s co-captain Bobbi Flood (Cabra) takes on Italy’s Gabriele Rontani Guidi in the light middleweight final, while in the women’s super heavyweight final, Cliona D’ Arcy (Tobar Pheadair) will face Ukrainian Polina Cherenko.

Regardless of their results, Ireland are guaranteed eight medals with Patsy Joyce (Olympic), Georgia Dunn McGovern (Setanta), Winnie McDonagh (Neilstown) 63kg and Katie O’Keeffe (Kanturk) winning bronze medals.

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