O'Neill fancies chances in middleweight showdown
Published 03/03/2014 | 02:30
LONDON 2012 Olympian Darren O'Neill doesn't believe that Michael O'Reilly will be able to physically impose himself on him in Friday's Elite National Championships middleweight final.
O'Neill TKO'd Limerick's Derek Duhig in the third round of Saturday's 75kg semi-final. Duhig took three standing counts in the second and didn't answer the bell for the start of the third after he was retired by his corner.
O'Reilly, a silver medallist at the 2011 European Youths, beat Christy Joyce on a unanimous decision in the other last-four clash.
O'Neill, who will be appearing in his eighth Elite final next weekend, said: "Michael is a good boy. He's very, very awkward and very strong, but he's only after stepping up from welterweight... I don't think he's going to be able to impose himself on me the way he was able to with some of the younger boys."
O'Neill's fellow London Olympian Adam Nolan beat Fergal Redmond on Saturday and the Bray BC boxer will meet Stephen Donnelly, who surprised John Joe Joyce on a split decision, in the welter final.
Laoise Traynor is through to the women's welter decider in a unique double for the Bray club.
The men's super-heavyweight crown is on its way to Tipperary. Clonmel BC stablemates Con Sheehan and Dean Gardiner both won their semi-finals on split decisions and will clash in an all-Premier County dust- up on Friday.
Joe Ward received a bye into the light-heavy decider after Sean McGlinchey withdrew injured. Ward will be aiming for his fourth successive title before his 21st birthday versus Matthew Tinker.
European Youth and Commonwealth Games silver medallists Gary Sweeney and Stephen Ward and Fionna Nelson and Claire Grace also won their last-four contests.
The men's finals will be decided on Friday night, followed by the women's finals on Saturday.