Wednesday 13 December 2017

Irish boxers rake in three silver medals and a bronze in Finland

Michael O’Reilly claimed a silver medal
Michael O’Reilly claimed a silver medal

Sean McGoldrick

THERE was no joy for the Irish boxers on the final day of the Bee Gees multi-nations tournament in Helsinki.

However, the Irish squad still collected three silver medals and a bronze. European Games gold medallist Michael O'Reilly lost to France's Christian M'Billi-Assomo in the thrilling middleweight showdown.

Earlier flyweight TJ Waite was defeated by Russia's Ovik Ogannisian in the gold medal fight.

Darren O'Neill had to concede a walk-over in the heavyweight final after he suffered a cut during his semi-final win.

Monaghan's Stephen McKenna marked his arrival to the elite international scene by winning a bronze in the light fly category.

Meanwhile, there was no joy for Ireland's Christina McMahon who lost her WBC super flyweight world title fight in Mexico to local favourite Zulina Munoz on a unanimous points decision (97-94; 96-94, 96-94).

Elsewhere on the American continent, Billy Walsh faces his first big test in his new role as Head Coach of the American women's boxing squad as the American Olympic qualifier gloved off in Buenos Aires.

US lightweight representative Mikaela Mayer – who competes in Katie Taylor's 60kg category – began her bid to qualify for Rio with a TKO (technical knockout). She has to win the gold medal to secure the one place available in the 60kg weight division.

The US's two other women's boxers at the tournament, flyweight Virginia Fuchs and London Olympic middleweight champion Claressa Shields have yet to see action in the tournament. The pair have to reach the final to secure their Olympic spots

But all the female boxers at the tournament who miss out on qualification can try again at the World championships in Kazakhstan later in the year.

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