More shocks were the order of the day (and night) as a hectic weekend’s boxing continued at the National Stadium .
Olympic Youth champion and 2010 AIBA World Youth silver-medallist Ryan Burnett was edged out in the opening bout of Saturday’s quarter-finals on a 4-3 reversal to his fellow Belfast flyweight Michael Conlon .
Conlon was 3-2 ahead at the end of the second. Burnett, pulled back to 3-3 mid-way through the round with a beautiful left, but Conlon sealed the win a left of his own seconds later.
The light-welterweight title is now vacant after Westport’s defending titleholder Ray Moylette lost 5-3 to James McDonagh, who was 3-0 up early in the second round. McDonagh now joins Grancon’s Ross Hickey, Phil Sutcliffe and Anthony Upton in the semis.
Moylette, the 2008 AIBA World Youth champion, pulled two back with big rights to leave it at 3-2 at the bell, but McDonagh, who took a standing count in the third, won the final round 2-1
Chris Phelan, had an easier passage in his bout with Myles Casey, a brother of European super-bantamweight pro champion, Willie. Casey took a standing count in the second round as Phelan emerged victorious 13-0 .
John Joe Nevin was 3-1 up after the first round versus George Bates in the new 56Kg category, but Bates kept finding the target with rights to take a 4-3 lead at one stage of the second. Nevin scored the next two points, but Bates levelled just before the bell.
Bates was picking up most of his scores with big rights., Nevin slipped to the left and delivered a right of his own straight down the middle. The 2009 World Senior bronze medallist then registered another three points gaining a 9-5 verdict.
“Nothing went right for me until the third round. My timing was off and everything, but a win is a win and I can only get better,” said Nevin, who is seeking a fourth successive Irish title..
Defending lightweight champ Eric Donovan notched a point in every round to post a 3-0 victory over James Fryers. Donovan, a bronze medal winner at the 2010 European Championships, opened the scoring with a right hook in the first, and added another right in the second.
David Oliver Joyce, who lost out to Donovan in the 2010 final, took a 3-0 lead into the third round of his duel with Jason Conroy, Joyce firing home some heavy body shots in the second.
The St Michael’s Athy man added another three points to his tally in the final frame, the first of which arrived via a big right hook.
Beijing Olympian and defending welterweight champion John Joe Joyce opened his defence with a dramatic double count back win over Shane Murtagh.
The first count back finished tied at 11-11, but Joyce got the nod on a 4-1 verdict when it went back to the judges.
“I did not box great but I live to fight another day. It’s all about getting through the rounds – a few did not go through – Willie (McLaughlin), Ray Moylette is gone, but I pulled it through,” said Joyce following his victory.
Three-time Senior champion Roy Sheehan was hoping to seal a fourth win in a row for the St Michael’s Athy club in the final bout of the session, but the 2007 European Union champion was edged out 2-1 in a tactical battle with Jamie Dowling.
Defending middleweight champion Darren O’Neill got his 75Kg defence off to a flying start with a second round stoppage of Derry’s Conor Coyle in Saturday night’s quarter-finals session .
O’Neill will now meet Belfast’s Conrad Cummings in the semi-finals after the Holy Trinity man comprehensively beat Cork’s Rory O’Donoghue 16-1
Elsewhere in the middleweight divisions, Chris Blaney chalked up a resounding 13-1 win over Andrew Jennings and 2009 European Youth champion Jason Quigley found the target nine times in his win over Luke Keeler (9-2)..
Defending titleholder and heavyweight champion Con Sheehan claimed a unanimous 5-0 decision over Tommy McCarthy to move to within two bouts of winning his fourth Irish title in succession.
Con Sheehan commented after his fight :”I kept him at the end of my right jab in the first round – kept my range – and when he came lunging in with the right hand I had him with the left hook, said Sheehan.
“It was good but I was disappointed when we drew each other straight away as we are very good mates. We have been on the Irish team since we were 13 years of age so we know each other very well.”
The female semi-finals take place on Friday next with the finals on Saturday 19th February.
Kelly Harrington of Corinthians claimed victory in the only female 64Kg quarter-final of the evening session, a 6-2 verdict over Eireann Nugent .
Earlier the female featherweight quarter-finals featured two inside the distance wins for- for Ryton’s Dervla Duffy and Emma Agnew (Dealgan) at the expense of Tara Keane ( ST Anne’s Westport) and Angela Crawford (Raphoe) , while Michaela Walsh from the Holy Family BC Belfast had four points to spare over Fermoy’s Ciara Noonan.