European Championships: Walker and Irvine take bronze after semi-final defeats

Kurt Walker
Kurt Walker has qualified for the World Championships in Germany later this year

Kurt Walker and Brendan Irvine must settle for bronze medals at the European Championships after losing their semi-finals in Ukraine on Friday.

Lisburn bantamweight Walker was beaten by Ukranian boxer Mykola Butsenko on a unanimous 5-0 points decision, with all the judges giving Butsenko every round.

Belfast flyweight Irvine lost to Niall Farrell of England on a 5-0 scoreline.

Westmeath's Joe Ward beat Italian Valentino Manfredonia in the light-heavyweight semi-finals in Kharkiv.

Ward will now fight for a gold medal on Saturday.

The Irish fighter ensured at least a bronze medal on Wednesday with a unanimous victory over Scot Sean Lazzerini.

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Joe Ward won his European semi-final on a unanimous decision

Walker, 22, defeated Italy's Raffaele Di Serio in his quarter-final of the 56kg division on Wednesday but came out second best against home boxer Butsenko, a former European silver and world bronze medallist.

Rio Olympian Irvine beat Gabriel Escobar of Spain on a unanimous decision in the last eight but Farrell proved too strong.

Belfast light-welterweight Sean McComb missed out on a bronze medal after losing to England's Luke McCormack in the 64kg division on Wednesday.

McComb suffered a narrow 3-2 split decision loss in the 64kg division.

All four Irish boxers have ensured a place at August's World Championships in Hamburg by virtue of having reached the last 16.

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