European Games: James McGivern scores unanimous last-32 win

James McGivern celebrates his success at the National Elite Championships in January
James McGivern is part of an 11-strong Ireland squad in Minsk

Belfast boxer James McGivern scored a unanimous win in his opening bout at the European Games in Belarus.

The 21-year-old is into the last 16 of the light-welterweight division after a 5-0 win over Michal Takacs of Slovakia.

St George's club fighter will face Armenian Hovhannes Bachkov for a place in the quarter-finals in Minsk.

There were also wins for Irish fighters Michael Nevin and Regan Buckley on the second day of competition but Tony Browne lost by a split decision.

Browne was beaten by Croatian heavyweight Toni Filipi in their last-16 contest but Buckley and Nevin both registered unanimous-decision wins to advance to the quarter-finals.

Buckley upset defending light-flyweight champion Bator Sagalvev from Russia while middleweight Nevin beat Rio 2016 bronze medallist and current European champion Kamran Shakhsuvarly of Azerbaijan.

In his first bout of the championships, McGivern dominated Takacs throughout their three-round contest.

"I caught him early with a body shot and I knew that was going to work because the coaches told me that it work so I knew what was going to happen," the former Commonwealth Youth Games gold medalist said.

"I was catching him better than he was catching me. I was getting him over the top and with the body shots. I think I hurt him in the second round and to honest when I hurt him I probably could have gone to try and stop him but I didn't do it this time."

Current EU champion Michaela Walsh is in action tomorrow alongside Kurt Walker, Grainne Walsh, Dean Gardner and Kieran Molloy.

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