Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce,Paul Upton, Karl Brabazon, Michael O’Reilly and Stephen Donnelly all claimed welterweight wins at the National Stadium in Wednesday’s opening session of the “Box Off” tournament which was intended to determine who represents Ireland at the forthcoming World championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Joyce, beat 2010 Commonwealth champion Paddy Gallagher of the Gleann club, 18-9,whilst 2005 Irish Elite champion Brabazon had a convincing 16 – 9 win over Martin Wall.
Brabazon, said later : “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.”
Michael O’Reilly, making his senior debut, gained an impressive 13-8 decision over Brian Brosnan in their 69Kg clash.
Before Wednesday’s session came ‘late news’ that Beijing Olympics Silver medallist, Kenny Egan had decided to move up to Heavy Weight for the Box-Off thus there will be no Joe Ward v Kenny Egan re-match at this tournament.
At the same time, reigning heavyweight champion , Clonmel’s Con Sheehan decided to move to Super Heavyweight.
So Egan will come up against Tommy McCarthy in a repeat of the 2009 and 2010 light-heavyweight finals , both of which Egan won, in Friday’s semi-finals.
Sheehan faces up to current Irish Elite super-heavyweight titleholder Cathal McMonagle, in the last four also on Friday.
The controversy continues as to why the IABA ever decided to hold this “box off” event, especially as several of Ireland’s top boxers are now injured and have withdrawn from the tournament?
Our two European champions, light welterweight Ray Moylette (St Anne’s, Westport) and light heavyweight Joe Ward (Moate), are now added to an injury list that already included Olympic Bronze medallist , Paddy Barnes, and European champion, Darren O’Neill (Paulstown), a European silver medallist
In 2010 ,as well as World bronze medallist John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC) and Willie McLaughlin (Ilies Golden Gloves).
Medical certificates were produced on their behalf to IABA secretary Sean Crowley at yesterday ‘s weigh-in but last night Crowley repeated his earlier view that the board would be recommending the winners from this tournament are selected for the team for Baku, when the Central Council of the
IABA meets a week on Saturday.
“Nothing is ever written in stone here,” director of boxing Dominic O’Rourke said, though he did not correct what the Secretary had earlier said simply adding that that position still stood. Irish boxers do NOT need such confusion at this critical stage. Are they seriously suggesting that Ireland sends a team to
Baku minus Ward,Moylette,Barnes, O’Neill, and Nevin , and if they are not then why say so?
High performance coach Billy Walsh accepts that the boxers are indeed injured but added ” Here I am six weeks out from the world championships and I don’t have a team. ” “There are just two qualification tournaments for next year’s Olympics and Baku is the first of them.
“Those guys have genuine injuries and we have been nursing them along. Paddy Barnes missed the European championships, Ray Moylette had to have injections in his hand before the championships and Willie McLaughlin injured his hand in the quarter-finals. Darren O’Neill has a long-term injury and John
Joe Nevin had stitches in his wrist after a fall.”
The’ Box Off’ semi-finals take place at the National; Stadium over two sessions on Friday with the finals scheduled for Saturday afternoon commencing at 3pm.
Open Unseeded Tournament – National Stadium ,Dublin.
69Kg: Paddy Gallagher (Gleann) lost to John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) 9-18
69Kg: Karl Brabazon (St Saviours OBA) beat Martin Wall (Crumlin) 16-9
69Kg: Fergal Redmond (Arklow) lost to Paul Upton (Holy Family GG) 10-13
69Kg: Brian Brosnan (Crumlin) lost to Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) 8-13
69Kg: Graham Hogan (Crumlin) lost to Stephen Donnelly (All Saints) 4-14
56Kg; Shane Cox (Gorey) v Tyrone McCullagh (Holy Family GG)
60Kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) v Mark O’Hara (Holy Trinity)
60Kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy) v Gavin Keating (St Saviours OBA)
60kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) v Jason Conroy (Crumlin)
69Kg: Niall Murray (Gorey) v Adam Nolan (Bray)
75Kg: Stephen O’Reilly (Twin Towns ABC ) v Conor Coyle (St Josephs)
75Kg: Shane Murtagh (Crumlin) v Rory O’Donoghue (Watergrasshill)
75Kg: Conrad Cummins (Holy Trinity) v David Walsh (Holy Trinity)
75Kg: Jason Quigley (Finn Valley) v Andrew Jennings (St Catherines)
91+Kg: Chris Devanney (Dockers) v Ken Okungbowa (Athlone)