Kellie Harrington made an impressive return to action at the Strandja Multi-Nation tournament in Bulgaria on Wednesday, marching into the lightweight quarter-finals with victory over Poland's former World Youth champion Aneta Rygielska.

Harrington hasn't boxed since last June when she had to withdraw from the lightweight final at the European Games with a thumb injury. 

She was disciplined and clinical against the lively Rygielska over three rounds in Sofia to get the decision. Harrington is tuning up for March's Olympic qualifying events which will see her compete in the European section in London.

"That's a quality opponent that Kellie boxed," said IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne afterwards.  

"She’s a European medallist, very aggressive. To win as well as she did I thought was a really good performance. It’s a real positive for everybody."

Another Irish lightweight, Amy Broadhurst, was edged out by Finland's Mira Potkonen, Katie Taylor's old foe from Rio 2016. Broadhurst will also go to London to try and earn a ticket to Tokyo.

Antrim featherweight Michaela Walsh overcame Jenifer Fernandez 30-27 on a unanimous decision.

Ceire Smith kept moving though, earning another victory in the light-flyweight class against Moroccan Rabab Cheddar. Carly McNaul lost to Italian Olena Savchuk on the other side of the draw.

Welterweights Kieran Molloy and Aidan Walsh lost out to decisions to India’s Sing Negi and American Johnson Delante respectively.

Light welterweight George Bates came through a spicy bout with Kosovan southpaw Shpetin Bajoku but Wayne Kelly was done on points by Paolo Di Lernia of Italy.

Michael Nevin lost a split decision to Brazilian middleweight Herbert Souza. 

A razor-sharp Kurt Walker had too much for Brazilian feather Carlos Rocha, though Dean Clancy could not come through his featherweight clash with Italy's Francesco Maietta.

Dublin heavyweight Kiril Afanasev had to pull out of his bout with Georgia’s Nikolaz Begadze because of a hand injury sustained in Tuesday’s win over Belgian Victor Schelstraette.

Harrington, Walker, Bates, Smith, Walsh, Christina Desmond and Aoife O’Rourke will all box for at least bronze on Thursday.