Monday 24 October 2016

Brendan Irvine gets outclassed in opening fight to leave Irish boxing team with just three fighters remaining

Published 13/08/2016 | 15:29

Flyweight Brendan Irvine crashed out of the Olympics at his first attempt today, well beaten by tough Uzbek opponent, Shakhobidin Zoirov.

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The St Paul's, Belfast boxer just had no answers against a superior opponent, losing all three rounds on the judges' cards - 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.

Irvine had to move up a weight in his quest to get to Rio, with Paddy Barnes having already qualified for the Games at the 49kg light-fly division.

Nicknamed 'The Wee Rooster', Irvine is a notoriously slow starter and was caught early and often in a difficult first round against the aggressive Uzbek.

All three judges gave it against him - with one scoring it 10-8 in Zoiriov's favour - and there was little respite in the second, blood trickling from Irvine's nose against an emboldened opponent.

Needing a knockout to survive, it proved a bridge too far for Irvine as Ireland's difficult time in the Olympic ring continued.

Zoiroiv's hand was raised after the final bell as he was awarded an overall unanimous decision, leaving Ireland with just three boxers - Steven Donnelly, Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan - left competing at the Rio games.

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