O’Neill makes it SIX Irish fighters into European quarters

Irish team captain Darren O’Neill eased into the quarter-finals of the European Championships in Ankara, Turkey with a 24-12 win over Victor Cotiujanschi of Moldova this evening.

But Cathal McMonagle’s brave attempt to reach the quarter-final ended in disappointment after he lost 22-18 to England’s Anthony Joshua in the super-heavyweight category.

O’Neill, who claimed silver at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow, will now meet Dmytro Mytrofanov of the Ukraine in Tuesday’s last-eight middleweight eliminator.

Earlier, AIBA World Youth champ Joe Ward won on his European debut and is now just one victory away from claiming at least bronze at the 2011 Championships.

The 17-year-old southpaw, who boxes out of the Moate BC in Westmeath, beat Ainar Karlson of Estonia 10-7 this afternoon to march into Tuesday’s light-heavyweight quarter-finals where he’ll meet Fiori Simeno of Italy.

Ward was 3-2 up after the first round but Karlson pulled it back to 5-5 in the second.

However, Ward found the target five times and conceded just two in the third.

Karlson was beaten 7-4 by Ken Egan in the quarter-finals of the 2010 European Championships in Moscow.

Meanwhile, John Joe Nevin and Ray Moylette joined Michael Conlon and Willie

McLaughlin in the quarter-finals with impressive victories over Nikoloz Izoria and

Ljubomir Marjanvic in Turkey earlier today.

Nevin beat the Georgian bantamweight 15-10 in Ankara to set up a last-eight clash with former European Junior champion Dmitry Polyanskiy of Russia on Tuesday.

Moylette beat Serbia’s Marjanvic 17-16 in a 33-point light-welterweight thriller.

The 2008 AIBA World Youth champion will now face Maksim Ignatiev of Russia in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

All six Irish boxers will be guaranteed at least bronze if they win Tuesday.

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