Ireland’s elite squad continued on their winning ways with eight wins out of eight at the semi-final stage of the Ostrava Grand Prix in Ostrava, the third largest city in the Czech Republic and close to the Polish border.
The squad who had won all four of their opening day bouts stretched their unbeaten run to 12 bouts from 12 with a magnificent eight wins from eight the semi-finals. . Willie McLaughlin, from the Illies Golden Gloves BC in Donegal, recorded the day’s most impressive win when he outscored current European welterweight champ Balazs Basckai of Hungary 3-2 as the final bell tolled. Jason Quigley, Eric Donovan, Darren O’Neill, Con Sheehan, Ray Moylette and John Joe Nevin also had their hands raised in victory along with Drimnagh super- heavyweight Sean Turner, who benefited from a walkover.
European Youth champ Quigley beat European bronze medallist Mikalai Vesialov of Belarus 6-5, while Nevin, a bronze medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships, advanced on a count-back against local favourite Dusan Chromy (Czech Republic) 1-1 c/b
Clonmel heavyweight Con Sheehan, the current European Union champion, had three points to spare against Sandro Dimfeld of Slovakia and European bronze medallist Donovan recorded one of the biggest wins of the day with a 9-1 decision over Sergei Kunitcin from Belarus. Ray Moylette defeated Marius Palions of Latvia, with the St Ann’s clubman and 2008 AIBA World Youth champion, emerging victorious 7-0. Kilkenny’s Darren O’Neill, a silver medal winner at middleweight at the 2010 European Championships completed a great day for the Irish with an 8-0 trouncing of light-heavyweight Sergei Kuzmin from Belarus.
Today is finals day in Ostrava and hopefully a few more Irish successes to be enjoyed.