Darren O’Neill stops Richards in Olympic qualifier

O’Neill and David Oliver Joyce into last eight but disappointment for Michael O’Reilly

Darren O’Neill is into the last eight in Samsun.

Darren O’Neill is into the last eight in Samsun.

 

Darren O’Neill and David Oliver Joyce are the latest Irish boxers to advance to the quarter-finals of the European Olympic qualifiers in Turkey, but Michael O’Reilly’s Olympic dream is over after he suffered a surprise defeat.

O’Neill, an Olympian at middleweight in London four years ago, has stepped up to the heavyweight division for Rio but still proved too strong for Gabriel Richards in the evening session in Samsun, stopping his Swedish opponent in the first round of their contest.

O’Neill and Joyce, who defeated Otar Eranosyan of Georgia earlier in the day, are now just two wins away from a guaranteed place at the Olympics. The top three males across weight classes qualify. The finalists automatically go through and the beaten semi-finalists box-off for the remaining places.

The Irish team did suffer a major setback though with the shock elimination of O’Reilly, the number one seed in the middleweight class, was he was beaten by Finland’s Ilari Kijala after a unanimous on the judges’ scorecards.

O’Neill and Joyce will be back in the ring on Wednesday for their quarter-final bouts with Brendan Irvine, who beat Germany’s Hamza Touba, also in action.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor will come up against Yvonne Rasmussen of Denmark in the women’s competition where Ceire Smith and Christina Desmond will also hope to advane to the semi-final stage. Just the two finalists in the women’s draw earn Olympic qualification.

Today's results
Last 16
 
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Otar Eranosyan (Georgia)  3-0
 
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Ilari Kijala (Finland) 0-3
 
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Gabriel Richards (Sweden) TKO1
 
April 13th
Quarter-Finals
 
F51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Tetyna Kob (Ukraine)
 
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Ellie Konki (France)
 
F60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Yvonne Rasmussen (Denmark)
 
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Vazgen Sufaryants (Belarus)
 
F75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Patra Scatmari (Hungary)
 
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Abdulkadir Abdullayev (Azerbaijan)
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