CORK welter Christina Desmond advanced to the quarter-finals of the 71st Strandja multi-nations after a hard-fought victory over Brazil’s Beatriz Soares in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Macroom southpaw will now meet Jones Oshae of the USA, who will have former Irish head coach Billy Walsh working her corner, for at least bronze on Thursday.
Neither Soares or Desmond had to go looking for each other in Tuesday’s 69kg contest, with the Brazilian continually moving forward to meet the Fr Horgan’s BC woman. But Desmond matched her opponent at every opportunity and detonated the majority of cleaner shots to post a deserved points victory over three, three-minute rounds at Europe’s oldest multi-nations.
“I’m delighted with the win and to get the first one out of the way. She was tough, never stopped coming forward,” said the Irish Elite champion. “I’ve never met the American girl before, but it should be a tough test on Thursday as she’s a good boxer. The more competition I get out here, the better.”
Desmond is part of a 17-strong Irish male and female squad in Sofia, with the Irish team building toward the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 which begin on March 13 in London.
Desmond, Michaela Walsh, Ceire Smith, George Bates and Aoife O’Rourke all won on Tuesday. Galway super-heavy Antoine O Griofa lost to Italy’s two-time Olympic finalist Clemente Russo.