10 November 2008 – By Kevin Byrne
Mullingars David Oliver Joyce has seen off one Olympian in Liverpool – but now he is set to face another.
Joyce was on the sunny side of a 16-3 decision over Joe Murray at the weekend in their featherweight bout. The result left the Englishman devastated, with Joyce now set to come up against Vasyl Lomachenko, the gold medallist and boxer of the tournament in Beijing.
Joyce himself was just pipped in the qualifiers for the games and looked on as his cousin John Joe impressed. But he faces a huge obstacle in the fearsome Ukrainian. Joyces previous opponent was far from satisfied with the scoring in their last 16 clash.
Whats the point in putting in all the hard graft when you dont get a fair fight? he said.
People like me want to stay amateur but Ive been driven away. If I dont go professional now Im going to have to quit. All I ask is to get in the ring and to get a fair decision but it seems too much.
The 21-year-olds coach Joe Gallagher weighed in with some more criticism for the Merseyside judges.
I said Joe boxed brilliantly today and thats it for him now, he said. The scoring was an embarrassment. Youre not going to see Joe in an amateur vest again.
But Joyces Athy coach, and IABA president Dom ORourke was sure his man had done enough to earn his quarter final place.
Joe might have got a few points from body shots but the result was fair. Joe suited him coming on like he did and David boxed very well, he said.
Irish team boss Billy Walsh was similarly delighted with Joyce’s win over the 2007 world bronze medallist.
David showed superb defense, we are very happy with him,” Walsh said. “He was so solid and his timing was exceptional. Every time Murray would attack, David would be up and then reply quickly with an attack of his own. Overall it’s very positive to beat a world championship medalist and Olympian. David didn’t qualify but after the qualifiers he started to find form but wasn’t consistent, hopefully we have turned the corner with him.”
Lomachenko marched into the last eight with a 10-0 win Vladimir Nikiforov of Estonia.
The quarter final is on Tuesday November 11.
Murray, meanwhile, should now be the next British boxer to depart to the paid ranks, following Frankie Gavins decision to join the Frank Warren stable.
It wasnt all good news for the Irish in Liverpool as light heavyweight hope Darren ONeill, a perennial thorn in the side of Messrs Sutherland and Egan dropped an 11-5 decision to Nikolajs Grishunins of Latvia.