Ward, Moylette battle back to secure Euro medals
Published 22/06/2011 | 05:00
IRELAND are guaranteed at least two bronze medals from the European Championships following quarter-final wins for Joe Ward and Ray Moylette in Turkey yesterday.
But there was last-eight disappointment for Irish captain Darren O'Neill -- a silver medal winner at the 2010 European Championships -- John Joe Nevin, Willie McLaughlin and Michael Conlon in Ankara.
Mayo light-welter Moylette (right), who claimed World Youth gold in 2008, came from being 6-3 down to beat fancied Russian Maksim Ignatiev 14-13 to set up tomorrow's semi-final with Hajiliyev Heybatulla of Azerbaijan.
And Ward, who won gold at the 2010 World Youth Championships, came from 6-4 in arrears to oust Italian light-heavy Fiori Simeno on a 15-13 verdict.
The 17-year-old, who boxes out of the Moate BC in Westmeath, will now face experienced Hungarian puncher Imre Szello in the last-four.
Belfast flyweight Conlon (19) lost 26-20 to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Vincenzo Picardi.
"Michael was in against a very experienced opponent and he gave it 110pc and we couldn't have asked for anything more," said IABA director of boxing Dominic O'Rourke. "This is his first major international tournament and he has a big future in the sport."
Donegal welterweight McLaughlin lost out 28-21 to Zaal Kvachatadze of Georgia. In the middleweight category, Kilkenny southpaw O'Neill dropped a 17-10 verdict to Dmytro Mytrofanov of the Ukraine, while Cavan bantamweight Nevin was on the receiving end of a controversial 13-12 decision to Dmitry Polyanskiy of Russia.
"John Joe won all three rounds. There is no doubt in my mind about that," said Irish coach Zuar Antia. "We are very disappointed with that result. I believe we should have four in the semi-finals, as Michael boxed incredibly well."
O'Rourke added: "We're delighted for Ray and Joe. To get amongst the medals at this tournament is a fantastic achievement.
"I thought John Joe was very hard done by and I thought he won, to tell the truth. It was a hard decision that went against him as he landed most of the clean shots in the final round.
"It was a very questionable decision. Even the neutrals in the crowd booed the decision as they thought that John Joe won. It's very disappointing, especially at this level."
Today is a rest day. The semi-finals and finals will be held tomorrow and Friday.
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