Some 360 boxers representing 52 nations set out to achieve their dream of Gold in the AIBA World Junior Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan this weekend . Holy Trinity, Belfast featherweight Caoimhin Agyarko got Ireland off to a wining start with a well-deserved, highly merited 15 – 8 victory over the champion of Egypt, Ahmed Mostafa ,when they met at the Sports Palace in Astana on Saturday.
In Monday’s last 16 encounter Agyarko comes ‘face to face’ with Uzbekistan titleholder Aliyov Noraliev. The Irish youngster ended round one 4-3 down but took the second 5-2 for an overall 8-6 lead and in round three Caoimhin was in excellent form adding another seven points.
Hugh Joyce,who boxes out of the St Michael’s club in Athy suffered a 12-4 loss against Asian champion, India’s Prasa Lalitha Polipala . Joyce was 4-2 down in his light flyweight bout at the end of round one and 9-3 behind a round later. The Indian fighter now meets England’s Luke McCormack in the last 16.
In Sunday’s contests in Astana , Mulhuddart’s John Stokes reached the last-16 with a ‘last gasp’ but richly deserved 7-6 win over Tajikistan’s Shorukh Ogonazarov .
Stokes had fallen behind 1-0 at end of round one and 4-3 when the bell tolled at end of the second. However he gave his all in that final round and emerged victorious in the closing seconds of a technical contest.
Three other Irish hopes ,Jack Connolly, Shane McIntyre and Keith Flavin suffered defeat on Sunday.
Clonmel’s Connolly lost 14-10 to Russian and European lightweight Champion Shamil Malsatov in the outstanding bout of the tournament to date, with both boxers receiving a standing ovation from the Astana audience. The Tipperary youngster had fought back from a first round 5-1 deficit
McIntyre was trailing 4-3 after the first against his Armenian opponent, Gor Jevelkyan. The Golden Gloves boy took an 8-6 advantage into the third , but a public warning near the end resulted in Jevelkyan gaining his victory by a two points margin.
Flavin was leading 3-2 when his contest with Myradov Shatlykmrat of Turkmenistan was stopped in the first round after a right out ‘out of the blue’ .
Two other Irish fighters, John Nevin and Martin Conroy received byes into the last-16 and will box for places in the 50Kg and 75Kg quarter-finals Tuesday.