IABA Press Release Bernard O’Neill
John Joyce claimed gold at the European Schoolboy Championships following a magnificent light-flyweight victory over Miroslav Peshkov of Russia in Grozny, Russia today.
The Moate BC (Westmeath) club-man finished on top of the podium following a 3-2 decision over the Russian in the 48Kg final.
But Galway’s James Cleary and Matthew Burke had to settle for a silver medal each after losing out 5-1 and 11-2 to Russia’s Gabriel Muzaev and Arthur Germanovich despite brave performances in the 44.5Kg and 76kg finals.
Cleary, who boxes out of the Olympic BC, was 1-0 up at the end of the first, but Muzaev went 3-1 ahead before the end of the second and accumulated two additional points in the third.
Burke, from the Ballinrobe BC in Mayo, was 1-0 and 5-1 down at the end of rounds one and two.
Joyce and Peshkov shared the first frame 0-0. However, Joyce took the second 2-1 and drew the third 1-1 en route to an historic gold medal.
Today’s win arrives one year after Joyce was denied a place in the 2010 European Schoolboy Championships final following a highly controversial 1-0 “loss” to Ivan Dubovik of Russia in Yambol city, Bulgaria.
Joyce, who clearly won that contest, was subsequently presented with the boxer of the tournament award.
Speaking directly after the 2010 semi-final, Joyce, showing remarkable maturity for such a young man, wished Dubovik the best of luck in the final and vowed that he’d be back to win gold at the 2011 European Schoolboy Championships.
The Moate BC stand out remained true to his word today and now has the distinction of having won gold and bronze and the boxer of the tournament award at the 2010 and 2011 European Schoolboy Championships.
Today’s win also capped what has been an historic summer for the Moate BC.
In June, 17-year-old AIBA World Youth champion Joe Ward of the Moate BC became one of the youngest gold medal winners in the 87-year history of the European Senior Championships after finishing on top of the light-heavyweight podium in Ankara, Turkey.
Meanwhile, Ireland will now be taking home one gold, two silver and five bronze medals from Grozny.
Joyce, Cleary, Burke, Craig Bonney, Lewis Crocker, Sean Conroy, Keelan Sexton and Tiernan Bradley finished in podium positions.
The rest of the 18-strong squad also played their part in what has been another very successful European venture for Irish boxing.
The Irish team are due to arrive home at 5.30pm Sunday via Dublin Airport.