Ireland win four out of four at European Games

Ireland's Katie Taylor celebrates after winning yesterday
Ireland's Katie Taylor celebrates after winning yesterday

Ireland claimed four wins from four at the European Games in Baku on Sunday.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor, Darren O’Neill, Dean Walsh and Michael O’Reilly are all through to the last-eight after solid performances.

Those wins mean that nine Irish boxers will now complete in the quarter-finals, one win each away from claiming at least bronze.

Taylor looked sharp and composed in her victory over Denista Eliseeva.

It was her seventh win over the Bulgarian lightweight, who is the last woman to have earned a decision over the Bray orthodox in 2011.

Boxing mostly off the back-foot, Taylor took the first two rounds, flashing combinations in the first and second seeing her command a 20-18 lead.

She stood and traded with Eliseeva in the third and mixed it up again in the fourth en route to the 157th victory of her 164-fight career.

O’Reilly got the ball rolling with a very convincing victory over Emir Sabotic of Montenegro .

The Portlaoise BC middleweight and current Irish Elite champion ran out a confortable 30-27 winner across the board.

A silver medalist at the 2014 European Union Championships, O’Reilly can add to his collection with at least a bronze medal if he beats Slovinia’s Alijaz Venko in the next phase of the tournament.

O’Reilly has two wins under his belt so far.

And Walsh was involved in the bout of the day with Russia World Series of Boxing fighter Maxim Dadashev.

The Wexford light-welter was down from a body shot in the first, with Dadashev taking the round 10-9.

But Walsh edged a very close second in which both combatants were trading blows.

The Irish champion also won an explosive third to earn a split decision victory and inflict one of only a few – if any – defeats on Russian boxing so far in Baku.

O’Neill rounded off a perfect day on a unanimous decision over Latvia’s Raitis Sinkevics in the heavyweight class.

The Kilkenny southpaw won the first two rounds to race 20-18 ahead going into the final frame.

Sinkevics took the third on two of the cards, but it wasn’t enough to stop O’Neill being handed a 30-27,29-28,29-28 win.

The London 2012 Olympian will now meet Gevorg Manukan of the Ukraine in the quarter-finals.

And Belfast’s Brendan Irvine is in action on Monday morning along with Ceire Smith and Dean Gardiner.

Irvine from the St Paul’s boxing club faces Azerbaijan’s Salman Alizida in what should be a close clash.

They are all one win away from securing Ireland’s first medal at the tournament.