FERNDOWN fighter Iain Weaver came in for praise after claiming a silver medal at the European Amateur Championships in Moscow.

The London 2012 prospect saw his hopes of gold disappear when he was undone by the counter-punching skills of Germany’s Denis Makarov in the final round of Saturday’s contest.

But despite the 7-2 final loss, highly-rated Weaver played his part in Great Britain’s most successful performance at the tournament since 1961.

Weaver’s was one of three silver medals which, together with two bronzes, added up to a fine showing from the Team GB competitors.

The 20-year-old, who trains at Southampton’s Golden Ring ABC gym, earned the recognition of British head coach Robert McCracken, as did fellow medallists Khalid Yafai and Tom Stalker.

“Khalid was clearly the better boxer and I thought Iain could have had better luck too,” said McCracken.

“But the fact is we have come away from the toughest of tournaments with five medals.

“And the success of some of the young fighters out here – in particular Iain and Gamal (Yafai, bronze medallist) – sends out a fantastic message to our development boxers that with work and application they can also make it right to the top.”

Weaver, one of the elite GB podium squad members chosen to chase a medal at the London Olympics, had earned his golden opportunity by defeating Tyrone McCullagh 10-3 in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, Ireland light-flyweight Paddy Barnes claimed his country’s first gold medal at the tournament since 1991.