Thursday 29 September 2016

Joyce brothers braced for semi-final Battle

Bernard O'Neill

Published 23/11/2015 | 02:30

David Oliver Joyce beat former European Youth champion Gary Cully on a split decision
David Oliver Joyce beat former European Youth champion Gary Cully on a split decision

David Oliver Joyce's ambition of qualifying for next year's Rio Olympics through the local route could be ended by a family member - or vice-versa.

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Joyce edged former European Youth champion Gary Cully on a split decision in a cracking lightweight clash on the opening night of the Men's National Elite Championships at the National Stadium.

He will next meet his younger brother Hughie, who beat Anthony O'Rawe, in the semi-finals next month.

The five-time Elite champion admitted that it will be an emotional evening in the semi-finals.

"My younger brother, I'll meet him. He's raring to go - and he wants a go at me. We're brothers, whatever happens happens," said the three-time EU Elite champion who is now fighting on the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) circuit.

"I didn't know he (Gary Cully) was so tall until I stood beside him and we touched gloves. He's really, really long arms. The experience I had in APB drove me on.

"The first (round) could have gone either way, but I knew in the second and third that there was no way he was going to stop me. I had a phenomenal training camp with Eddie Bolger in Wexford.

"I was confident, but it was close. He's a good kid. I'm delighted with the win, but I wouldn't say 'over the moon'. That was my first fight at the stadium in almost two years and it's great to be back and to get the win."

Defending champions Sean McComb (light) and Dean Walsh (light-welter) also advanced along with former European Elite and World Youth champion Ray Moylette, the Mayo light-welter beating Patrick Lenihan.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Katie Taylor will meet Tipperary's Shauna O'Keeffe in the women's lightweight final next Friday night at the National Stadium.

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