Gabriel Dossen was the first Team Ireland boxer in action at the European Championships, and the Galway native got the travelling contingent off to a winning start to progress to the last 16.
Fighting in the 75kg middleweight division, Dossen enjoyed a comfortable, albeit split decision victory against his Spanish opponent, Miguel Cuadrado on Day 1 of the Armenia-hosted tournament.
Standing tall in his southpaw stance, Dossen took the fight to his opponent in the early stages of the first round, but then appeared happy to box off the back foot, picking his punches and using his strong straight left to trouble Cuadrado.
He faced a game fighter, however, as the Spain boxer continued to walk onto Dossen's defence, albeit with little reward against the illusive Irish boxer.
The frustrated Cuadrado persisted yet struggled to get inside, as Dossen stood strong at arm’s length, while the Spanish fighter was told three times to lift his head and was visibly tiring as the round progressed.
🚨 Men's European Championships🚨— IABA (@IABABOXING) May 23, 2022
75kg Gabriel Dossen opens #TeamIreland's account with a 4-1 split win over Spain.
He is next in the ring on Wednesday against No. 4 seed, Bulgaria's Mofid Rami Kiwan pic.twitter.com/MaTk0CpvNu
Dossen looked slick throughout, however he was content to fire single volleys off the back foot and perhaps needed to up the work rate to really dominate.
The Olympic BC fighter hit the canvas twice in the third round but neither fall a result of a punch rather the clumsy footwork of Cuadrado tripping the Ireland boxer, while the second was also due to tangle in the middle of the ring.
That first fall came early in the round and appeared to trouble Dossen as his head flung backwards upon contact with the canvas.
Dossen took his time to get up and resume, but it kicked him into gear as he really upped the intensity of his attack inside the final round.
Cuadrado, to his credit, continued to hunt Dossen down, but the former world youth bronze medallist remained a level above his opponent and continued to impress for the final stages of the contest.
Dossen took the contest 4:1 as four judges gave him every round (30:27), while the Danish judge scored the contest 29:28 in Cuadrado’s favour.
On Tuesday, Dylan Eagleson will contest at 54kg against Turkey’s Muhammet Acli, while Brandon McCarthy faces England Joseph Tyers at 63.5kg, and Luke Maguire boxes Poland’s Daniel Wieslaw Piotrowski in the 71kg division.