Joe Ward, John Joe Nevin, Ray Moylette and Darren O’Neill joined Michael Conlon and Willie McLaughlin in the last-eight following wins yesterday. All six are now just one win each away from claiming at least bronze.
AIBA World Youth champ Ward, who was making his European debut on Monday, advanced following a 10-7 win over Estonia’s Ainar Karlson in Ankara.¨
Both boxers were tied at 5-5 going into the third and final round but the Irish Elite champion pulled away to claim victory by a three-point margin.
Last year, Ken Egan also came up against Karlson in the light-heavyweight division, with the Dubliner running out a 7-4 winner in that quarter-final clash.
Ward, at 17 the youngest member of the Irish squad, will now meet Italian puncher Fiori Simeno today, just one win away from claiming at least bronze in just his eighth senior fight.
“It was great to see Joe get off the mark in his first European contest. He got a bye into the last 16 and he’s been waiting around for over a week to get in the ring,” said IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O’Rourke.
“He’ll definitely get better and winning on his European debut will be a great confidence booster for him. The Italian lad is tall and rangy and it promises to be a very interesting quarter-final.”
Meanwhile, Cavan bantamweight John Joe Nevin registered a 15-10 win over Nikoloz Izoria of Georgia while Moylette edged out Serbian light-welter Ljubomir Marjanvic 17-16 in a 33-point thriller.
Both boxers will meet Russian opponents today, and O’Rourke believes that the 56kg and 64kg last-eight duels could go right down to the wire in the Turkish capital.
Irish captain O’Neill hammered Victor Cotiujanschi of Moldova. The Kilkenny southpaw, a silver medal winner at the 2010 European Championships, meets the Ukraine’s Dmytro Mytrofanov today.
“Ray was involved in a high scoring contest with the Serbian lad but he showed good defence throughout, although it was very tight in the end,” said O’Rourke.
“John Joe got us off to a winning start and Ray and Joe followed that up.
“Anyone that wins Tuesday will be taking home at least a bronze medals for this tournament which will make it even more competitive.
The Russian pair of opponents will provide formidable opposition.
“All our opponents will be tough tomorrow as our lads are also in against two Italians and a Georgian and the Ukraine. It’s going to be another big day for Irish boxing.”
Donegal-born super-heavyweight Cathal McMonagle, who boxes out of the Holy Trinity BC in Belfast, lost 22-18 to England’s Anthony Joshua last night.