Saturday 10 December 2016

Mixed evening for the Irish as Irving maintains Olympic progress while O'Neill's hopes put on hold

Published 13/04/2016 | 19:40

Three Irish fighters are just one win away from the Olympic games after Katie Taylor, David Oliver Joyce and Brendan Irvine advanced to the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament in Turkey.

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Taylor and Joyce booked their final four places earlier today while Irvine and heavyweight Darren O'Neill fought in the evening session.

Irving was out first and impressed in beating France's Elie Konki in the quarter-final.

O'Neill was faced with the tough task of fighting number one seed Abdulkadir Abdullayev of Azerbaijan. O'Neill started well by taking the first round but dropped a split decision after his opponent was judged to have enjoyed the better of the latter two rounds.

The top three fighters in each men's division will be awarded a place at Rio 2016 - the two finalists and the winner of a box-off between the two losing semi-finalists - so Irving and Joyce will have two opportunities to cement their place at this summer's Olympics.

Taylor needs to make the final of her weight division to reach Rio, so will need to win her next bout to qualify.

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