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Boxers Michael Nevin and Regan Buckley have secured Ireland's first medals at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus.
Nevin is guaranteed to return home with at least a bronze medal after he defeated Turkey's Guler Serhat with a 4-1 split decision in the quarter-final of their middleweight bought at the Sports Palace on Tuesday.
His victory came less than an hour after Buckley secured Ireland's first medal of the Games with a 4-1 split decision over Spain’s Martin Molina in the light-flyweight division, with the Bray boxer also guaranteed at least a bronze.
“I’m over the moon, to be honest with ya. It was a hard-fought fight — the Spanish guy came forward an awful lot and he was really compact, he threw a lot of punches so I had to deal with him from the outside. There were times when I had to mix it up with him as well," Buckley said.
“But we did what we had to to get the win. It was a very good contest. First round, I was controlling the distance very well, I was catching him on the counter. Second round, I may have gotten into it a bit too much with him on the inside. And then the coaches told me in the third round to bring it back out to a boxing match. I was working off the jab in the last round and I was catching him with some nice shots, so I think that’s what got me the fight.
I’m over the moon. I’ve two days ’til the next bout. It’s straight into recovery and looking onto the next one. No time to dwell on it."
Nevin, who was selected for the Games following an injury to Gabriel Dossen, was just as happy as his team-mate to have secured a medal but he is hoping to improve on bronze.
“I’m feeling good. I’m happy with the performance. Onto the next one, now. He was a good, strong opponent," Nevin said.
"I have a bronze medal now so it’s time to change the colour."
The European Games from Minsk, Belarus continue on eir sport until Sunday, 30 June. Subscribe here
Image: Inpho Photography/Laszlo Gecko