Castlerea boxer Aoife O’Rourke, right, returns home with another bronze medal from the Strandja International Tournament in Sofia, following her semi-final defeat to American fighter, Naomi Graham.
O’Rourke had impressed in earlier rounds against Bulgarian and Turkish opposition and continued her brilliant form against the 31-year old US Army fighter. However, Graham’s experience as well as her power and precision had Aoife on the back foot in the early stages. Four of the five judges saw it that way too and awarded the American the first two rounds. O’Rourke stepped forward more in the final round and landed some big shots but Graham used her ringcraft to pick her opponent off and come out on top on the scorecards once more.
Aoife’s bronze was just one of two medals landed by Irish boxers in Bulgaria with flyweight Brendan Irvine also clinching bronze despite having to withdraw from his semi-final with injury.