Darren O’Neill was defeated at the quarter-final stage of the European Olympic Qualifier in Samsun, Turkey last week.
The Kilkenny heavyweight dropped a split-deciion to Azeri star, and #1 seed, Abdullayev Abdulkadir.
In the aftermath of the loss, many in the Irish camp expressed displeasure with O’Neill’s defeat to the European Games gold medalist, and Katie Taylor even went as far as to say that the Paulstown puncher was ‘robbed blind.’
Indeed, in the video below, you can see the outrage of the Irish coaches following the decision.
Had he been given the nod, O’Neill would have had two opportunities to qualify for Rio. First he would have had a semi-final against Britain’s break-out star Laurence Okolie, and then – if needed – a 3rd place box-off with Ukrainian Gevorg Manukian (the man who denied him a medal at last year’s European Games).
Instead, O’Neill now has the monumental task of winning the final World qualifier this Summer in Azerbaijan. Although, as he proved against Abdulkadir (regardless of the result), O’Neill is now one of the best heavyweights around.
Watch Darren O’Neill’s ‘loss’ below: