Christina Desmond ensured that Ireland will be taking home at least two silver medals from the AIBA World Women’s Youth and Junior Championships with an emphatic semi-final win in Albena, Bulgaria on Friday night.
The Macroom BC southpaw hammered out a unanimous decision (40-36,40-36,40-36) over Turkish welter Sema Caliskan and will meet Kazakhstan’s Gauhar Yermekbay for Youth gold on Saturday afternoon.
Dictating the pace and terms of last night’s four-rounder from the opening bell up, Desmond got her timing and distance spot on from the get go to repeatedly catch Caliskan with lefts, the occasional right finding the target into the bargain.
Caliskan was rocked with another big left in the second as Desmond continued to dominate. The Turk responded with some good shots in the third, but Desmondkept returning the compliment with two and three-punch combinations.
It was an impressive display, and Irish team manager Anna Moore hailed the performance of the leftie.
“Nothing fazes her, she just kept her focus and kept doing the right thing. It was a fantastic performance and it’s wonderful to have two into Saturday’s finals. All of the girls were brilliant today, she said.
Earlier in the day , Ciara Ginty progressed to the lightweight final after producing another classy display.
The 16-year-old Mayo prospect, who is now guaranteed at least silver, gave an exhibition to hammer out a unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,30-27) over Yekaterina Annissimova of Kazakhstan in the Junior 60kg semi-final.
The Geesala BC (Mayo) stand out will meet Turkey’s Esra Yildiz for gold. Yildiz beat Iesha Kenney of the USA yesterday.
Speaking directly after Friday’s victory, Ginty, who has won three fights in Albena this week, said she’ll be aiming for the big one on Saturday.
“I’ll be going for the gold tomorrow. I’m absolutely delighted with the win today,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jacqui Lynch’s gallant bid to reach the light-flyweight final ended on a narrow reversal to Russia.
Boxing in the 48kg Junior semi-final, the Golden Gloves BC (Mayo) ace lost on a split decision (29-27,27-29,27-30) to Ekaterina Paltceiva in Albena.
The Russian took the first round, but Lynch, commanding the centre of the ring, took control of the second, two excellent rights in the opening exchanges helping her establish supremacy and to restore parity at the end of the frame.
It all came down to the third. Paltceiva started brightly, but Lynch responded in kind all the way down to the final bell. It could have gone either way, but a majority of the judges leaned in favour of the Russian.
Lynch, however, won’t be coming home from the Black Sea holiday resort empty handed. The talented Mayo teenager will be bringing home a bronze medal for her country.
Desmond and Ginty are now the first, Irish female boxers to reach a World final apart from Olympic and World Elite champion Katie Taylor.
The Munster and Connaught duo are also the first Irish boxers to reach a World Youth and Junior final since Willie Donoghue, who won gold in the Ukraine earlier this month, and 2011 European Elite champion Joe Ward, who won double gold at the 2009 and 2010 AIBA World Junior and Youth Championships.
The Irish squad in Bulgaria are sponsored by Quick Park of Dublin Airport.