Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan win European semi-finals

Belfast fighters Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan have won at least a European Championships silver medal after semi-final victories in Belarus.

Barnes recorded a unanimous points victory over Salman Alizada of Azerbaijan at light-flyweight.

Fly-weight Conlan defeated Russian Ovik Ogannisian on a split-points decision to set up a final against Welshman Andrew Selby on Saturday.

John Joe Nevin and Donegal's Jason Quigley also won their semi-finals.

Bantamweight Nevin defeated Wladimir Nikitin of Russia on a split decision.

Despite constant pressure from his Russian opponent, the Mullingar man found time and space to pick him off with a lovely variety of shots, while also showing great movement to avoid being caught.

Quigley overcame a fierce challenge from Yevhen Khytrov, who won the middleweight gold at the 2011 World Championships.

The 22-year-old came out strong, attacking the Ukranian world champion to take all three rounds for the best win of his career..

Two-time Olympic bronze medallist Barnes won after the judges scored the three round bout 30-27 30-27 30-27.

Despite a stoppage for Barnes to receive treatment on a badly bloodied nose, the 26-year-old's work-rate was too much for his young opponent.

Barnes will now fight Russia's David Ayrapetyan in the final on Saturday.

Olympic bronze medallist Conlan dominated his semi-final and was rarely troubled by Ogannisian but surprisingly one judge gave the fight to the Russian, with the score 30-27, 28-29, 30-27.

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