Ireland hit the ground running in Moscow today, getting their European Senior Championships campaign off to a flying start with five wins out of five at the Ice Palace.
Paddy Barnes is just one bout away from adding a European medal to his trophy cabinet, after securing a comfortable win on the first day of competition in Russia.
Belfast man Barnes, a bronze medalist in Beijing, will now meet England's Thomas Stubbs, an opponent he beat 10-0 at the National Stadium in Dublin last August, for at least a bronze medal next Wednesday, after easily outpointing Hungarian Istvan Lakatos in the very first bout of the competition.
The 23-year-old light flyweight, from the Holy Family club, triumphed by 12 points to four, and now goes forward to the quarter-finals, highlights of which can be seen on RTÉ on Wednesday evening.
In all, this was a very good day at the office for the Irish, with five wins from five bouts today, the opening day of the championships.
Dubliner Kenny Egan, a silver medalist in Beijing, began his bid for a second European medal with a win over the difficult Italian Simone Fiori. It was a tough, low-scoring contest, however, with Egan edging it by a single point, 3-2.
Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce - one of three Irish bronze medal winners at the last European championships, in Liverpool in 2008 - also advanced, beating Vasilii Belous from Moldova 8-5.
Ireland's John Joe Nevin, a former world bronze medalist, defeated Armenia's Karen Aylazyan 13-2. Kilkenny teacher Darren O'Neill completed a great day for the Irish with a hard-fought victory over Romania's Ronald Gavril, 4-2.
There will be five Irish in action tomorrow, Sunday. Dublin's Declan Geraghty, 20, and Kildare's Eric Donovan, 24, make their Moscow debuts, with bouts against fighters from Azerbaijan and Denmark, respectively.
Egan, O'Neill and Joyce will also return to the ring, each of them hoping to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
Nearly 300 boxers from 41 nations are taking part in the 2010 European Senior Championships.
European Senior Championship Draws/Results:
June 5 (Last 16):
48Kg: Paddy Barnes (Ireland) beat Istvin Lakatos (Hungary) 12-4
54Kg: John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Karen Aylazyan (Armenia) 13-2
69Kg: John Joe Joyce (Ireland) beat Vasili Belous (Moldova) 8-5
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) beat Ronald Gavril (Romania) 4-2
81Kg: Ken Egan (Ireland) beat Simone Fiori (Italy) 3-2
June 6 (Last 16 & 32):
51Kg: Declan Geraghty (Ireland) v Magomed Abdulhamidov (Azerbaijan)
60Kg: Eric Donovan (Ireland) v Rashid Kassem (Denmark) (last 32)
69Kg: John Joe Joyce (Ireland) v Evegeny Borisov (Bulgaria)
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) v Anthony Ogogo (England)
81Kg: Ken Egan (Ireland) v Aleksander Ramo (Albania)
June 7 (last 16):
57Kg: Tyrone McCullagh (Ireland) v Piotr Apostol (Moldova)
54Kg: John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Nourdine Aitihya (France)
64Kg: Ray Moylette (Ireland) v Alex Jacobsen (Norway) or David Mueller (Germany)
June 9 (Quarter Finals):
48Kg: Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Thomas Stubbs (England).