European Games 2015: Irish boxers win opening Baku bouts

Darren O'Neill lands a strong right hand on Romania's Ionut Jitaru
Darren O'Neill defeated Romania's Ionut Jitaru in his heavyweight opener in Baku

Ireland's boxers made an impressive start to their European Games challenge as Darren O'Neill and Myles Casey won their opening contests on Tuesday.

Kilkenny heavyweight O'Neill comfortably outpointed Romania's Ionut Jitaru with Limerick flyweight Myles Casey beating Belarus's Ivan Fihurekna.

Casey was a 29-28 winner on all three judges's cards.

Later on Tuesday, Kurt Walker, from the Canal club in Lisburn, was beaten in the bantamweight category.

Walker won the final round, but Russian opponent Bakhtovar Nazirov got the verdict in the first two

London Olympian Adam Nolan and Michael O'Reilly will be the Irish boxers in action on Wednesday while Belfast featherweight Sean McComb will open his challenge against Ukraine's Tymur Beliak on Thursday.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh will open her challenge against former world and European gold medallists Russia's Elena Savelyeva on Saturday.

Ireland's Olympic champion Katie Taylor will be in action a day later when she takes on the last women to defeat her - Bulgaria's Denista Eliseeva.

Eliseeva defeated Taylor on points at a Multi-Nations event in Bulgaria in February 2011 although it was regarded as a hugely contentious decision.

Since that fight, Taylor, 29, has beaten the Bulgarian on two occasions.

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