IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill
Michael O’Reilly and Gary Sweeney will represent Ireland in Saturday’s European Youth Championships finals following thrilling wins at the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre in Dublin last night.
But Joe Fitzpatrick, Stephen Broadhurst and Jack Morrissey all bowed out of the tournament today and this evening following last four reversals.
Portlaoise BC welterweight O’Reilly always looked convincing en route to victory over Viktar Mursahkin of Belarus, the 18-year-old taking all three rounds to seal a commanding 20-12 win.
Sweeney, who boxes out of the All Stars BC in Mayo, was 5-4 down going into the final frame against Nikita Versockis of Latvia – who he beat in Anapa, Russia earlier this year.
But the Ballinrobe light-heavyweight turned that deficit around to claim a 10-8 victory. Both Irish boxers will meet Russian opponents in Saturday’s finals.
Belfast flyweight Joe Fitzpatrick was also in action tonight, but despite a brave showing lost out to Vasily Vetkin of Russia by a two point margin.
It was a brave performance from the Immaculata BC teenager, at 16 the youngest member of the Irish squad, who will be taking home a bronze medal from the tournament.
Earlier today, Stephen Broadhurst and Jack Morrissey also had to settle for bronze.
Dundalk southpaw Broadhurst lost out to Rauf Rashimov of Azerbaijan in the middleweight class.
Both boxers were out on their feet at the end of this clash which appeared to be turning in Broadhurst’s favour going down the final stretch, but it was Rashimov that got the nod from the judges.
Wexford heavyweight Morrissey was retired in the second round by the Irish corner versus talented Russian, Ivan Veryasov.
Saturday’s finals begin at 2.30pm and will be streamed live on www.iaba.ie.