Joe Ward breezes into last eight of Europeans but it's heartache for captain O'Neill
As expected, number one seed Joe Ward breezed into the last eight with a convincing victory over Matus Strnisko from Slovakia in the light middleweight division of the European boxing championships in the Ukraine.
The Moate man dropped his opponent with a left body shot and forced him to take a count.
Ward took his foot off the pedal for the remaining two rounds and barely broke sweat as he recorded a unanimous win which secures him a spot at the World championships.
There was no joy, however, for Irish captain Darren O'Neil. In possibly his last appearance in a major championship he was beaten 4-1 by Ukraine's Ramazazaqn Musilimov in the heavyweight class.
Meanwhile, Dublin middleweight Emmet Brennan lost to advance Kamran Shakhsuvarly from Azerbaijan in a last 16 contest.
Earlie, bantamweight Kurt Walker is through to the quarter-finals of the European boxing championships in the Ukraine.
He defeated number two seed Tayfur Aliyev on a split decision in Kharkiv. This victory means that he will join fellow Ulster boxers, Brendan Irvine and Sean McComb at the World championship in Hamburg in August/September.
Seen by some as a natural successor to reigning World, European and Commonwealth bantamweight champion Michael Conlan, Walker justified some of the hype with a workman like performance against the Azeri fighter who had received a bye into the last 16.
Walker suffered a cut in his opening fight and the wound over his right brow opened up in the final round. But a series of scoring punches near the end of the contest swung the narrow decision in favour of Walker.
He will now fight Italian Raffaele Di Serio in the quarter-finals on Thursday afternoon with the winner guaranteed a bronze medal and a place in the semi-final of the 56kg class in which Conlan (2015) and John Joe Nevin (2013) are the last two European title holders.
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