Kurt Walker was edged out by Oliver Simpson in the semi-finals of the AIBA World Youth C’Ships today.
Kurt Walker had to settle for bronze at the AIBA World Youth Championships in Yerevan, Armenia today after losing out to England’s Oliver Simpson in the 52kg semi-final.
Walker, who was
trailing 9-5 going in to the final frame, had the Yorkshire flyweight on
the run in the last round, but the Kelly’s ABC boxer held out to earn a
14-12 decision in Yerevan.
Simpson, finding the target with some good body shots, edged the first 4-3, Walker, who had the height and reach advantage, picking up points on the counter.
Simpson had a very productive second, a round which saw him stretch his lead to to 9-4, although Walker, boxing out of the blue corner, winged home some two very solid looking rights.
The five-time Irish champion had no other option but to throw caution to the wind in the final frame, and the Canal BC orthodox, subjecting his opponent to a torrid three minutes, very nearly pulled it out of the fire.
But the judges handed the decision to Simpson after the final bell of one of the bouts of the semi-final stages at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex in the Armenian capital.
Simpson will now meet Jeyvier Cintron Ocasio of Puerto Rico, who beat Cuba’s Luis Cordero-Parlay today, in Friday’s final.
“Kurt can be very,
very proud of his performance. He had a storming final round and he
might have nicked it in the end, said Irish coach Billy McClean, who was
working Walker’s corner with Tom Hayes.
“He’s had four tough bouts out here since last Friday and there may have been an element of fatigue involved, although he did pull out all the stops in the final round today.
“We’re proud of the performances of our squad at this tournament, particularly as we had a really tough draw. Nothing came easy for our squad in Yerevan.”
Stephen Connolly, Irish team manager, was full of praise for the 17-year-old Ulster stand out, who will be underage for the 2013 European Youth Championships.
“Kurt gave it absolutely everything and it could have gone either way in the end. It was very close bout. Kurt and the Irish squad represented their country with pride throughout the course of this tournament, he said.
“Billy McClean and Tom Hayes and the Irish coaching staff have done an enormous amount of work with this young squad over the last year and they deserve all the praise they can get.
“Our Youths are
competing with the best in the world at this level thanks to the
tremendous work Billy and Tom and our coaching staff are putting in
preparing and training our squads to compete at the very highest
Walker’s defeat brings Ireland’s competitive interest in the tournament to a close.
However, tomorrow (December 7th) will be a day of celebration for Irish boxing in Yerevan as Walker will be presented with his medal and Katie Taylor will collect the AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year Award for a third time.
Tyrone’s Michael Gallagher will pick up his second AIBA World Referee and Judge Award at the AIBA ceremony after the finals of the 2012 AIBA World Youth Championships.
Meanwhile, Walker has now picked up 400 points – he’ll collect 450 points if Simpson wins gold on Friday – for the AIBA World Senior rankings, the updated version of which will be published in January.
John Joe McDonagh will collect at least 150 ranking points in the light-heavyweight class by virtues of reaching the quarter-finals.
Ireland’s boxers have now won two gold, two silver and three bronze medals from the last three AIBA World Youth Championships in Mexico, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Irish squad are due to arrive home from Armenia via Dublin Airport at 4. 45pm on Sunday.
2012 AIBA World Youth Championships Yerevan, Armenia
56kg: Chris Nevin (Ireland) beat Brec Mislav (Croatia) RSC2
64kg: Thomas Waites (Ireland) lost to Eimantas Stanionis (Lithuania) 6-14
52kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Giorgi Gabodze (Georgia) 14-7
81kg: John Joe McDonagh (Ireland) beat Aleksandar Jankovic (Denmark) 16-10
49kg: Keith Flavin (Ireland) beat Pavel Gunchenko (Russia) 23-10
56kg: Chris Nevin (Ireland) beat Lin Sheng-Ling (Chinese Taipei) 19-10
69kg: Stephen Mulholland (Ireland) lost to Zhidi Zhang (China) 13-16
52kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Suthin Masuk (Thailand) 13-6
60kg: Hughie Nevin (Ireland) beat Armarsanaa Badar-Uugan (Mongolia) 18-9
December 3rd (Last 16)
49kg: Keith Flavin (Ireland) lost to Andy Cruz-Gomes (Cuba) 13-21
52kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Sam Kistohurry (France) 18-14
56kg: Chris Nevin (Ireland) lost to Stefani Gasparri (Italy) 6-7
60kg: Hughie Nevin (Ireland) lost to Raul Curiel-Garcia (Mexico) 13-18
81kg: John Joe McDonagh (Ireland) beat Eric Finau (New Zealand) 8-7
52kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Ian Clarke Bautista (Philippines) 19-12
81kg: John Joe McDonagh (Ireland) lost to Idris Shakhmanov (Russia) 7-15
52kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Oliver Reece Simpson (England) 12-14
49kg: Keith Flavin (Paulstown)
52kg: Kurt Walker (Canal)
56kg: Chris Nevin (Holy Family Drogheda)
60kg: Hughie Nevin (Cavan)
64kg: Thomas Waite (Holy Trinity)
69kg: Stephen Mulholland (St Malachys)
81kg: John Joe McDonagh (Crumlin)
Team manager: Stephen Connolly
Coaches: Billy McClean and Tom Hayes
Physio: Conor McCarthy