Today at the European Championships Northern Ireland will look to bounce back from their opening day loss to Poland. The Green And White Army face Ukraine in Lyon, and can’t afford another loss if they are to continue their journey at the tournament.
Ahead of the big match at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, irish-boxing .com take a look at how Irish boxers have fared against Ukrainian opposition in recent years.
Perhaps most memorable is former Irish champ Tyson Fury’s comprehensive win over long-reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko in Duesseldorf. In a huge upset, the Manchester-born giant out-though and out-fought the Ukrainian champ, making his 19th consecutive defence, to claim the unified and lineal heavyweight title.
Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley had a huge win in the semi finals of the 2013 European Championships over reigning World champ Ievgen Khytrov. Both now pros tipped for titles, Quigley scored a unanimous decision win en-route to gold in Minsk.
Last year at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Belfast teen Brendan Irvine burst onto the scene with a silver medal. In his semi final, ‘Wee Rooster’ overcame the fancied Dmytro Zamotayev by unanimous decision to make the final.
There have also been losses for Irish fighters against Ukrainian opposition. In 2008, upcoming Olympian David Oliver Joyce lost out at the quarter final stage of the 2008 EU Championships to current pro superstar Vayl Lomachenko (2:10).
Last year at the European Games in Baku, Darren O’Neill was denied a medal following a highly contentious split-decision loss to Gevorg Manukian in the quarter finals. The Kilkenny heavyweight continues his quest for Olympic qualification this week in the same city.