Joyce claims European Union gold O’Neill and O’Reilly collect silver

David Oliver Joyce claimed his third successive European Union Elite Championships gold medal in Sofia, Bulgaria today.

The St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight, who won gold at Poland 2008 and Denmark 2009, beat Georgia’s Otar Eranosyan on a unanimous decision to secure a hat-trick at this level.

The Irish Elite champion had to put in a big three-round shift against his durable opponent this afternoon.

Joyce shaded the first, the Kildare orthodox finishing out the frame with a right-hook to the head of his opponent, but with both boxers firing plenty of leather, the second stanza could have gone either way.

However, Joyce began to pull away in the third. Two right uppercuts mid-way through the round followed by a strong finish sealing a 29-28,29-28,29-28 verdict.

Irish captain Darren O’Neill and Michael O’Reilly had to settle for silver at 8th edition of the tournament.

O’Neill left the ring shaking his head after he was adjudged to have lost on a split decision to Italy’s Valentino Manfredonia (29-28,29-28,27-29).

The first round was even, but O’Neill, aiming for his second successive EU gold, finished strong with body and head shots.

However, the Kilkenny southpaw completely dominated the second and forced Manfredonia into two standing counts off big left hooks, the second of which saw the Italian light-heavy drop to one knee after a delayed reaction.

Manfredonia piled on the pressure and dominated the third and final round, and, despite taking two counts in the second, was declared European Union 81kg champion.

O’Reilly and Christian Ossomo, a gold medal winner at the 2014 Chemistry Cup in Germany, battled each other to a standstill. The French middleweight got the nod on a split decision (29-28,29-28,28-29).

O’Reilly put his foot on the gas to shade the first, courtesy of three unanswered head shots in the final 20 seconds, but Ossomo’s constant pressure carried the second. O’Reilly, working well behind his left jab, rocked his opponent with two uppercuts going down the final stretch.

Darren O’Neill (blue) in action in Sofia
Darren O’Neill (blue) in action in Sofia
However, Osommo was responding in kind as both boxes traded blows all the way down to the final bell and a split decision in favour of France. It was a big performance from O’Reilly against an opponent who was that little bit fresher after receiving a bye into the final after his opponent pulled out of Friday’s semi-finals with an injury.

Hughie Myers, who was unlucky not to reach today’s light-flyweight final, was presented with his bronze medal this afternoon. The nine-strong Irish squad will be bringing home one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

The Irish squad are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 11:30am tomorrow, August 17th, morning.

European Union Championships Sofia, Bulgaria

(Last 16 bouts unless stated)

August 8th

56kg Gary McKenna (Ireland) lost to Veaceslav Gojan (Moldova) 0-3

69kg John Joe Joyce (Ireland) beat Damian Kiwior (Poland) 3-0

August 9th

64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) beat Malik Ladjali (France) 2-1

81kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Jordan Kulinski (Poland) 3-0

August 10th (1pm)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Mahmoud Khattab (Denmark) TKO2

91kg Gary Sweeney (Ireland) lost to Tadas Tamasavkas (Lithuania) 0-3

August 11th

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Henrich Bagan (Slovakia) 3-0

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Kristiyan Stefanov (Bulgaria) 3-0

August 12th (Q/Finals)

49kg Hughie Myers (Ireland) beat Oliver Simpson (England) 2-1

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Dawid Michelus (Poland) 3-0

69kg John Joe Joyce (Ireland) lost to Simeon Chamov (Bulgaria) 1-2

81kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Niklos Sekhniashvili (Georgia) 3-0

August 13th (Q/Finals)

64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Dmitri Galagot (Moldova) 1-2

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Gocha Badurashvili (Georgia) 2-1

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Guido Vianella (Italy) 1-2

August 15th (S/Finals)

49kg Hughie Myers (Ireland) lost to Stefan Mezei (Slovakia) 0-3

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Edgaras Skuddelis (Lithuania) 3-0

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Balazs Bacskai (Hungary) 2-1

81kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Mamadou Diabira (France) 3-0

August 16th (Finals

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Otar Eranosyan (Georgia) 3-0

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Christian Ossomo (France) 1-2

81kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Valentino Manfredonia (Italy) 1-2

Irish squad

49kg Hughie Myers (Ryston) (Bronze)

56kg Gary McKenna (Old School)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) (Gold)

64kg Dean Walsh (St Joesphs/St Ibars)

69kg John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Silver)

81kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) (Silver)

91kg Gary Sweeney (Olympic)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager: Paddy Osbourne

Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Eddie Bolger

R&J: Sadie Duffy

Physio: Jullianne Ryan

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