Gardiner, O'Neill get Irish off to a flier
Published 08/08/2015 | 02:30
Irish captain Darren O'Neill and Dean Gardiner claimed two wins from two on Day One of the European Elite Championships in Bulgaria yesterday.
Tipperary super-heavyweight Gardiner forced Delalic Abdulnaser of Bosnia into a standing count in the second round en route to a unanimous decision.
And 2012 Olympian Darren O'Neill earned a split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28) over Lithuania's Tadas Tamasauskos in a hard-punching 91kg duel.
Welterweight Adam Nolan, another London Olympian, is the only Irish boxer in action today - he takes Turkey's Onder Sipal for a place in the last 16.
"It's going to be close. The Turk is an experienced campaigner; we've been in a few training camps with him and he's been around the block," said head coach Billy Walsh.
Ex-European champion Joe Ward will be in action tomorrow, followed by London 2012 bronze medallist Michael Conlan, Dean Walsh, Gardiner and O'Neill on Monday.
Myles Casey is out of the tournament after failing to make the 52kg weight, so Ireland will not have a flyweight at October's World Championships in Qatar- the Europeans are a qualifier for Qatar, which is a qualifier for Rio 2016.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley meets US journeyman Mike Faulk in his eighth pro fight in California tonight.
Faulk hasn't fought since January 2013 and another easy night is anticipated for Quigley.