Ireland’s Elite boxers are guaranteed at least three bronze medals at the European Union Elite Championships after recording a hat-trick of quarter-final wins in Bulgaria yesterday.
London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill, Hughie Myers and David Oliver Joyce all had their hands raised in victory in Sofia.
However, Beijing 2008 Olympian John Joe Joyce bowed at the quarter-final stage after dropping a split decision to Bulgaria’s Simeon Chamov.
Kilkenny southpaw O’Neill, who claimed gold at the last European Union Championships in 2009, showed his counter-punching skills to earn a unanimous decision over Niklos Sekhniashvili.
The Georgian received a public warning for using his elbow in the second and might have got another public warning for hitting O’Neill below the belt in the third.
Myers, who boxes out of Ryston BC in Kildare, edged out England’s Oliver Simpson on a split decision in the 49kg class.
Simpson, working well behind his left jab, took the first round, but Myers’ relentless pursuit, complimented by right hooks, of the back- pedalling English light-fly paid off in the last two frames.
David Oliver Joyce moved to within two wins of clinching his third successive European Union gold on a unanimous decision over Dawid Michelus. A constant ball of motion, head movement and hooks off both hands, Joyce had too much firepower and ring craft for the Pole over the three rounds.
His St Michael’s Athy team-mate John Joe Joyce lost on a split decision to Chamov, who received a public warning for the illegal use of his head in the second. The scores were tied at 29-27, 27-29, 28-28 at the final bell, but when it went back to the judges they split in favour of the home welterweight.
“We’re quite happy with the three wins, said head coach Billy Walsh, who is working Ireland’s corner with Zuar Antia and Eddie Bolger in Sofia.
“The lads performed well and we came out on the right side of three decisions. John Joe probably performed the best, but unfortunately he lost.
We got three-quarters of what we wanted today.”
Dean Walsh, Michael O’Reilly and Dean Gardiner will be in quarter-final action today.
Credit- Bernard O’Neill, Irish Examiner