Disappointment for Darren O'Neill on World Series of Boxing debut
There was no joy for Ireland's Darren O'Neill on his debut in the World Boxing series in Caracas on Saturday night.
The Irish heavyweight champion, who captained the Irish team at the London Olympics in 2012, was beaten by an experienced Russian, 28 year old Sergey Kalchugin on an unanimous points' decision.
Worst still the Kilkenny native suffered a bad cut and although the Russian was penalised for illegal use of his head he was still a comfortable winner over the five rounds as evident by the scoring on the three judges' cards 49-45; 49-45, 48-46.
“Not my night,” commented O'Neill on twitter. “Bad performance topped off with bad cut. Good conditioning rounds but need get back performing. Bad, dirty fight with result.”
O'Neill was in action for the locally based WSB franchise in the series against a visiting Russian team.
He needs to compete in two rounds of the WSB series in order to qualify for an Olympic qualifier later in the spring – but only the winner of this tournament in Bulgaria will secure a place at the Rio Games.