John Joe Joyce, Karl Brabazon, Paul Upton, Michael O’Reilly and Stephen Donnelly all claimed welterweight wins as the Open Unseeded Elite Competition got underway with a bang – and one standing count – at the National Stadium last night.
Beijing Olympian Joyce, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 European Championships, beat 2010 Commonwealth champ Paddy Gallagher 18-9.
And 2005 Elite champ Brabazon followed that up with a 16-9 decision over Martin Wall, who never stopped coming forward throughout an up-tempo decider.
Brabazon, who reached the 69Kg Elite final in February, said: “Fair play to him, he’s going to go a long way. He has a great work rate and even though he knew he was behind he kept me on my toes all the way and hats off to him he gave me a great auld battle.”
Upton edged a close duel with Fergal Redmond by a three point margin, and Donnelly forced Graham Hogan into a standing count in the third en route to a 14-4 verdict.
Michael O’Reilly, who was making his senior debut this evening, scored an impressive win over Brian Brosnan from an up tempo 69Kg clash.
The Open resumes this morning with quarter-finals at 11am. The semi-finals and finals will be decided on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday’s finals begin at 3pm.