Monday 19 February 2018

Furious Moylette vows never to fight in National Stadium again

Ray Moylette
Ray Moylette Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ray Moylette has vowed never to box in the National Stadium again after controversially losing to defending light-welter champion Dean Walsh in last night's Elite final at the venue.

The judges came down in favour of Walsh, a nephew of ex Irish head coach Billy Walsh, after three close rounds on a split decision.

The fight was a repeat of January's Elite final which Wexford-native Walsh also won on a split decision. Moylette, who boxes out of the St Anne's BC, admitted that he refused to accept his silver medal.

He said: "I will never box at the National Stadium again. I won't be there again and I refuse to let them do that to me. I'm in shock, heartbroken.

"There was no way I lost. They won't take it from me again." Walsh has now staked a claim for inclusion on the Irish for April's Olympic qualifiers in Istanbul, Turkey.

But the door - unless a box-off is called - to qualifying to Rio 2016 is now closed for Moylette.

Elsewhere, London 2012 Olympian Darren O'Neill denied the O'Reilly clan and Portlaoise BC a double.

The Kilkenny southpaw, a former European silver medallist, beat Bernard O'Reilly unanimously in the heavyweight final to secure his sixth title at two different weights in his tenth appearance in an Elite final.


But AIBA World No 3-ranked middleweight Michael O'Reilly, a brother and team-mate of Bernard, secured his third successive belt.

An overwhelming favourite with the bookies at 1/14, the current European Games champion beat Newry's Conor Wallace on a unanimous verdict to stake his claim for a place on the Irish team for the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.

The AIBA World Elite bronze medallist was clipped on occasion by the taller Wallace, but the Laois orthodox found the target the majority of cleaner shots in an explosive 75kg contest.

Meanwhile, three-time EU champion David Oliver Joyce took home his sixth belt on a split decision over defending lightweight champion Sean McComb in a classic rematch of the 2014 final, which Joyce also won on a split.

Elsewhere at the Stadium, Monaghan's Stephen McKenna, who received a bye into the final, claimed the vacant light-fly belt on his debut after outgunning Regan Buckley in the opening bout of the session.

McKenna, who bagged silver at the European Youths in Poland last month, had to soak up a number of heavy shots from the Bray orthodox on his way to a unanimous decision.

The light-fly belt was vacated by Word No 7 Brendan Irvine, who moved up to fly with one eye on the Olympic qualifiers, as Paddy Barnes has qualified for Rio 2016 in the same weight.

Limerick's Myles Casey, who vacated the flyweight title Irvine won, was beaten by defending bantam champion Kurt Walker in the 56kg final.

Casey was seeking to match his ex-St Francis BC team-mate Andy Lee, the current WBO World champion, and win successive belts. But the Shannonsider, brother of Willie "Big Bang", was beaten by defending champion Kurt Walker, the defending bantamweight title holder.

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