CORK'S Christina Desmond bows out of the European boxing qualifiers for Tokyo 2020

CORK'S Christina Desmond bows out of the European boxing qualifiers for Tokyo 2020
Christina Desmond of Ireland, reacts after defeat to Angela Carini of Italy in their Women's Welterweight 69KG Preliminary round fight on Day Two of the Road to Tokyo European Boxing Olympic Qualifying Event at Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, England. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

CORK'S Christina Desmond bowed out of the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 at the Copperbox Arena in London on Sunday night.

The Fr Horgan's BC/Garda BC welter was beaten on a unanimous decision by Italy's Angela Carina, the number three seed, following a close all southpaw three-rounder.

Desmond staggered her opponent with a sweeping left in the first round, but the Rome native, the 2019 World Elite light-welter finalist, worked hard throughout an open and clean last 16 bout.

Desmond will now be aiming to book a ticket for Tokyo at the final world qualifier in Paris in early summer.

The tournament was scheduled to go ahead in May, but the Americas qualifiers were postponed because of the coronavirus, and the Paris event may now take place in June.

At least three Olympic places will be available in Desmond's welter class. There could be four berths, contingent on which two limits Japan takes its two host places for women in.

"I knew she would be a tough opponent. It wasn't my day, but I'll be back," vowed Desmond. Dubliner's Kiril Afanasev, George Bates and Emmet Brennan won their bouts yesterday to advance to the last 16.

Five Irish boxers will be in action today with Antrim's Kurt Walker and Brendan Irvine fighting for places at the Olympic Games.

77 Olympic places - 50 for men and 27 for women - are up for grabs at the tournament which was given the green light to go ahead despite numerous sports fixtures in the UK being cancelled because of the coronavirus.

It's understood that the competition will be closed to spectators from tomorrow on because of the coronavirus.

An IOC Boxing Task Force is running the qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 as the International Boxing Association is banned from any involvement with the 32nd Olympiad because of governance issues.

Meanwhile, Cork light-heavy Tommy Hyde will meet David Haye's brother James at the London Championships.

The Leesiders, who is boxing for Bodyshots ABC in the English capital, is aiming to qualify for the English Elite Championships in Manchester next month.

Hyde meets Haye in the last-four on Friday. However, the Irish champion is keeping a close eye on proceedings with numerous sports postponed in the UK because of the coronavirus.

"It's going ahead for now, but that could change," said Hyde.

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