By Bernard O’Neill – IABA Press Officer
The first session of the weekend’s National Elite semi-finals were decided at the National Stadium tonight on a dramatic evening of split decisions.
Five contests – over 50% of the bouts slated for decision – were resolved on splits at the home of Irish boxing, with John Joyce, who was making his Elite debut, Regan Buckley, TJ Waite, Dean Walsh and Chris Blaney getting the nod from two of the three judges.
Walsh, the defending champion, was involved in the bout of the evening with Galway’s James Cleary, the 64kg clash going all the way down to the wire in a pulsating three-rounder.
London 2012 Olympians and Adam Nolan and Darren O’Neill already have nine titles between them, but the Bray BC and Paulstown BC welter and heavy will be aiming to make that eleven next Friday.
Nolan beat Michael Bustard on a unanimous decision and is one win away from a high five, and O’Neill TKO’d Stephen McMonagle in the first round and is three, three minute rounds away from his sixth belt at two different weights.
“He was tough, I was glad to get that one out of the way because you’re always apprehensive in your first fight at a tournament,” said Bray BC southpaw Nolan.
Kurt Walker, the defending bantamweight champion, earned a unanimous decision over Cork’s Colin O’Donovan.
Irish boxing legends Ken “The Councillor” Egan and Jim O’Sullivan were at the home home of Irish boxing for tonight’s session. Between then, Egan and O’Sullivan have won 20 Elites belts – ten each.
The second session of semi-finals will be decided tomorrow night. World No. 3 ranked middleweight Michael O’Reilly is in action versus John Joyce.
Defending lightweight champion Sean McComb, ex European Elite champion Ray Moylette and European Games silver medallist Brendan Irvine are also between the ropes.
Saturday’s weigh-ins – 8am to 9am and 12pm to 1pm.
National Elite Championships (2) 2015
Light-fly (49kg) – Stephen McKenna (Old School) v Regan Buckley (St Teresas)
Flyweight (52kg) – TJ Waite (Ormeau Road) v
Bantamweight (56kg) – Kurt Walker (Canal) v
Lightweight (60kg) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) v
Light-welterweight (64kg) – Dean Walsh (St Josephs/Ibars) v
Welterweight (69kg) – Adam Nolan (Bray) v
Middleweight (75kg) –
Light-heavyweight (81kg) – Christopher Blaney (Navan)
Heavyweight (91kg) – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown>
Super-heavyweight (91+kg) – Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) v
December 4th (7.30pm)
John Joyce (St Michaels Athy) beat 75kg Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) 2-1
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresas) beat Darryl Moran (Illies GG) 2-1
52kg TJ Waite (Ormeau Road) beat Jason McKay (St Pauls Antrim) 2-1
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) beat Colin O’Donovan (Togher) 3-0
60kg David Oliver Joyce (St Michaels Athy) W/O
64kg Dean Walsh (St Josephs/Ibars) beat James Cleary (Olympic) 2-1
69kg Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Michael Bustard (Monkstown Antrim) 3-0
81kg Christopher Blaney (Navan) beat Sean McGlinchey (Oakleaf) 2-1
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity) TKO1
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) W/O
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls Antrim) V William Donohue (St Michaels Athy)
56kg Jason Kirwan (Ballagh) V Myley Casey (St Francis)
60kg George Bates (St Marys Dublin) V Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Athlone) V Ray Moylette (St Annes)
69kg Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) V Martin Stokes (Holy Family Drogheda)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) V John Joyce (St Michaels Athy)
75kg Conor Wallace (St Monicas Newry) V Eddie Byrne (Na Fianna)
81kg John Paul Delaney (Emerald A) V Sean Allen (Arklow)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) V Bernie O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
91+kg Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) V Constantin Popivicu (Johnstown)
52kg Jason McKay (St Pauls Antrim) beat Adam Courtney (St Marys Dublin) TKOI2
75kg Conor Wallace (St Monicas Newry) beat Connor Coyle (St Josephs Derry) 3-0
75kg Eddie Byrne (Na Fianna) beat Glory Lmuala Carlos (Maynooth) 3-0
81kg Sean McGlinchey (Oakleaf) W/O
81kg John Paul Delaney (Emerald Antrim) beat Matthew Tinker (St Francis) 2-1
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Stephen Lawrence (Holy Family Drogheda) 3-0
91kg Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity) beat Ciaran Griffin (Celtic Eagles) 3-0
91kg Kiril Afansev (Smithfield) beat Christy Joyce (St Michaels Athy) 3-0
91kg Bernie O’Reilly (Portlaoise) beat Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone) 2-1
60kg David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) beat Gary Cully (St Davids) 2-1
60kg Hughie Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) beat Anthony O’Rawe (Braid) 3-0
60kg George Bates (St Marys) beat Gary McKenna (Old School) 3-0
60kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart) 3-0
64kg Dean Walsh (St Ibars) beat Benaldo Marime (Holy Trinity) 3-0
64kg James Cleary (Olympic) beat Keith Flavin (Paulstown) 2-1
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) beat Gerard Matthews (St Pauls) 3-0
64kg Ray Moylette (St Annes) beat Patrick Lenihan (St Marys) 3-0
69kg Michael Bustard (Monkstown) beat Fergal Redmond (Arklow) TKOI3
69kg Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) beat Conor Doherty (Holy Trinity) 3-0