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First Golds for Russia at Euro Boxing Champs

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Russia won its first two gold medals at the European amateur boxing championships in Minsk on Saturday as the country bids to top the medal table for a third time in succession.

MINSK, Belarus, June 8 (R-Sport) - Russia won its first two gold medals at the European amateur boxing championships in Minsk on Saturday as the country bids to top the medal table for a third time in succession.

David Ayrapetyan, the leader of Russia's 10-man team, was awarded gold when his opponent in the light flyweight division, Ireland's Paddy Barnes, pulled out of the final with a fractured nose.

It marked the Azeri-born boxer's second European title, coming less than a year after the 29-year-old won a bronze medal at the London Olympics.

Barnes, the 2010 European champion, appeared to have suffered the injury in Friday's semifinal victory over Salman Alizada of Azerbaijan.

A second Russian triumph came in the light welterweight division, which saw Armenian-born Armen Zakaryan defeat Moldova's Dmitry Galagot on a unanimous points decision. The judges scored the three-round fight 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 in favor of Zakaryan, the Russian national champion.

Russia, which has dominated the European championships in recent years, can add to its medal haul later in the day with four fighters making the finals of the 69kg, 81kg, 91kg and 91kg+ divisions.

The championships in the Belarusian capital run through Sunday.

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