Wednesday 28 September 2016

O'Neill looks to Turkey despite stitches

Bernard O'Neill

Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30

Boxer Darren O'Neill poses for a portrait before an IABA High Performance Squad training session. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Boxer Darren O'Neill poses for a portrait before an IABA High Performance Squad training session. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile

Darren O'Neill insists it's going to take a lot more than a handful of stitches to keep him out of next month's Olympic qualifiers in Turkey.

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The London 2012 Olympian received four stitches to a recurring wound over his left eye in Saturday's Gee Bee semi-final win over Italian heavyweight Tommaso Rossano in Helsinki.

World No 2 ranked middleweight Michael O'Reilly had to settle for silver in yesterday's finals, as did O'Neill after ceding a walkover to Kazakhstan's Vassily Levitt because of the cut.

The Kilkenny southpaw originally received six stitches to the same wound on his World Series of Boxing debut for Venezuela in Venezuela last month.

"He (the doctor) stuck the stitches in good and deep this time. On the last occasion, the stitches were superficial. Hopefully, it will heal up," said O'Neill.

"I'll have to keep it padded and rested and I'll be back again then. I'm happy to get the two wins here. The target was always to get fights under my belt for Turkey."

Meanwhile, European Games champion O'Reilly was edged out by France's Christian M'Billi-Assomo in 75kg final and TJ Waite lost the 52kg final to Russia's Ovik Ogannisian.

O'Reilly, despite losing the middleweight decider, was presented with the Best Boxer Award after his third bout in Helsinki.

Monaghan's Christina McMahon lost her tilt for the WBC super-flyweight title to defending Mexican champion Zulina Munoz in Mexico on Saturday.

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