David Oliver Joyce becomes sixth Irish boxer to reach Rio 2016

Lightweight earns a split decision against home favourite Volkan Gockek in box-off

David Oliver Joyce has qualified for thr Rio Olympics. Photograph: Inpho

David Oliver Joyce has qualified for thr Rio Olympics. Photograph: Inpho

 

David Oliver Joyce has become the sixth Irish boxer to book his place at the Rio Olympics after he beat home favourite Volkan Gockek on points in Turkey.

After his semi-final defeat to Britain’s Joe Cordina in the European qualifiers on Friday Joyce had a second chance to secure a spot in Brazil in Sunday’s box-off.

And he took it with aplomb, earning a split decision in Samsun after a dominant performance in his lightweight bout.

Joyce started brightly, and was awarded the first round on two of the cards after boxing on the front foot, but the Gockek clawed his way back into the fight in the second with all three judges scoring him 10:9.

However Joyce produced the third round performance he needed, and was much the busier fighter in the final three minutes, earning a clean sweep on the cards despite a cut reopening above his right eye.

The Athy fighter, who missed out on the 2012 Olympics, dropped to his knees as the split decision was announced.

He joins Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Joe Ward, Steven Donnelly and Brendan Irvine in Rio.

Michael O’Reilly, Darren O’Neill and Katie Taylor still have the chance to qualify for the games next month’s world championships in Kazakhstan.

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