Kellie Harrington put on a masterclass performance against three-time World Championship medallist and home favourite, Sarita Devi, to book her place into the last eight of the lightweight category at the AIBA World Women’s Elite Boxing Championships.
The Dubliner who claimed a unanimous decision in the previous round against New Zealander Troy Garton, upset all the odds and took victory on a 3:2 split-decision -29-28 x3, 28-29 x2.
Harrington previously won silver at the 2016 World Championships at light-welterweight but has moved up to lightweight – a Tokyo Olympics 2020 weight-class.
The southpaw continued Ireland’s tremendous form at the World Championships as she made it six victories from six for Team Ireland. Despite being the underdog Harrington was the sharper boxer throwing quick and clean combinations to out fox her Indian counterpart.
As has been the trend at the World Championships, the Irish boxers have proven to be fleet footed and technically superior to their counterparts. Harrington wore a few shots from Devi but was able to soak up the pressure and impress on the inside as she moved in and out of danger catching the Indian with powerful combinations.
Tough day today for Grainne Walsh losing out on a split decision in last 16 at World champs but Kellie Harrington marches on to last eight with a superb performance & win over her hometown Indian opponent in a great atmosphere. The rest of the gang are up tomorrow #TeamIreand 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/KDNGuSUQBX— Bernard Dunne (@Bernard_Dunne) November 18, 2018
The third round was the pivotal movement for Harrington as she let go of some huge punches, including a massive left hook which sent the home-favourite to the ground and the referee administered a count.
Harrington probably deserved to take victory by a greater margin on the scorecards but with the knockdown, there was no chance of a dubious home-decision.
Harrington will now face Canada’s Caroline Veyre on Tuesday, where a victory will guarantee at least bronze for the fighter. Veyre is a Panamerican Games gold medalist and a Panamerican Championship double medallist.
Later than evening, European medalist Gránne Walsh was also in action. The Offaly welterweight can count herself extremely unfortunate to have been eliminated from the World Championships after a split-decision defeat to Argentina’s double Panamerican Championships gold medallist Lucia Noella Perez.
The Tullamore puncher landed the bigger shots throughout the bout and at one stage knocked Perez’s gumshield out of her mouth. The judges however judged the Argentinian to be the busier fighter despite not troubling Walsh that much. This in the end cost Ireland their seventh straight victory at the tournament.