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Christina Desmond claimed her second Elite title of the 2019 at the National Stadium last November when she defeated Grainne Walsh in the 69kg decider. Picture: Doug Minihane
Christina Desmond claimed her second Elite title of the 2019 at the National Stadium last November when she defeated Grainne Walsh in the 69kg decider. Picture: Doug Minihane
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Injury forces Cork boxer Desmond to withdraw from quarter-final in Bulgaria

CORK welter Christina Desmond admitted she was disappointed to withdraw from Thursday's Strandja multi-nations quarter-final with Oshae Jones of the USA in Sofia because of a hand injury.

But the Macroom southpaw is looking at the bigger picture and the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in London in March.

The Fr Horgan's BC club woman picked up an injury to her left thumb in her win over Brazil's Beatriz Soares on Tuesday, and Irish staff and coaches decided not to risk exasperating the knock.

Ohio puncher Jones is now guaranteed at least bronze after receiving a walkover over the Leesider.

"The physio and coaches decided it wouldn't be worth risking. It's just a small little niggle, nothing major. I'm disappointed, but there's a bigger picture (London qualifiers) and bigger things," said Desmond.

"I had to take a look at the bigger picture and take a step back when I knew I wasn't at 100%. There's no point going in there and risking more damage.

Mick O'Brien, President of the Cork Boxing Board, said Desmond was outstanding in her win over Soares and wished her a quick recovery from injury.

Meanwhile, Dublin's 2018 World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington and Roscommon's current European middleweight Elite champions Aoife O'Rourke are guaranteed at least bronze in Sofia after winning their quarter-finals.

Harrington, - in her second fight back since picking up an arm injury at the European Games last June - beat Ukraine's Hanna Okheri and O'Rourke saw off Brazil's Flavia Figuerdo.

Antrim featherweight Kurt Walker was on top in his contest with Mykola Buysenko, but the judges leaned in favour of the Ukrainian on a 4-1 split.

Cavan's Ceire Smith, Belfast's Michaela Walsh and Dublin's George Bates bowed out to Virginia Fuchs of the USA and India due Sonia Lather and Shiva Thapa on Friday.