Guaranteed bronze medals for Ireland’s Joe Ward and Ray Moylette at the European Championships in Ankara but no luck for the other four Irish fighters in the ring in today’s quarter-finals, as Michael Conlon, John Joe Nevin, Willie McLaughlin and Darren O’Neill all lost.
The 2008 AIBA Youth champion overcame the much more experienced Italian Fiori Simeno 15:13. For Ward, the Moate BC light heavyweight, it has been an astonishing rise to fame as this was but his eight senior bout.
In Thursday’s semi-final he will meet Hungary’s Imre Szello Thursday’s semi-final . Szello you may recall lost 10:2 against GB’s Tony Jeffries in the Beijing Olympics Quarter-Final.,so another tough fight in prospect for Ward. But he is improving with every fight as he showed when defeating Kenny Egan in the Irish elite final.
Ray Moylette, the St Anne’s Westport light welterweight guaranteed his ‘minimum bronze’ with a 14:13 defeat of Russian, Maksim Ignatiev in their quarter final.
Moylette, who struck Gold at the 2008 AIBA World Youth Championships in Mexico, showed his class, and great future promise, by coming from behind to beat the Russian titleholder in their 64kg contest.
The Mayo man was 6-3 and 10-9 down after rounds one and two but put in a great third round to surprise the Russian,and delight the Irish camp . His ‘prize’ is a meeting in Thursday’s semi-final with Hajiliyev Haybatulla of Azerbaijan.
Welterweight Willie McLaughlin from the Illies Golden Gloves BC in Donegal lost out to Zaal Kvachatadze of Georgia 28:21 in their 69kg bout. The Georgian took round one 6:5 and the second 12:10 en route to his overall 28:21 win. It was however an excellent performance even in defeat from McLaughlin.He has had two good wins before today’s defeat and will have learnt a lot from this trip.
Another wily campaigner, Italy’s Vincenzo Picardi was a deserving winner over Belfast flyweight Michael Conlon on a 26:20 score line. Full marks here to young Conlon as the 19 years old was only competing in his ninth senior international bout here and up against the bronze medal winner from the 2007 AIBA World Championships and 2010 European Championships.
IABA Director of Boxing, Dominic O’Rourke later paid this tribute to Conlon:-
“Michael was in against a very experienced opponent and he gave it 110% and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. This is his first major international tournament and he has a big future in the sport”.
John Joe Nevin narrowly lost ( 13-12 ) to former European Junior champion Dmitry Polyanskiy at bantamweight. The Russian is seen as one of their best hopes for a title here and was one of nine Russians who reached the quarter final stage.
Paulstown’s Darren O’Neill, whom you will recall won a Silver medal at these Championships a year ago in Moscow, and captains the Irish squad in Ankara, was today on the losing end of a 17-10 decision to Dmytro Mytrofanov , the Ukrainian champion, in their middleweight clash.
2011 European Senior Championships :
June 21st – Quarter-finals:
52Kg: Michael Conlon (St John Bosco) lost to Vincenzo Picardi (Italy) 20-26
54Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) lost to Dmitry Polyanskiy (Russia) 12-13
64Kg: Ray Moylette (St Anne’s) beat Maksim Ignatiev (Russia) 14-13
69Kg: Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG) lost to Zaal Kvachatadze (Georgia) 21-28
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) lost to Dmytro Mytrofanov (Ukraine) 10-17
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat Fiori Simeno (Italy) 15-13
Wednesday is a “rest day” for the boxers in Ankara.