More boxing woe as Joyce outclassed by 'better man'
The palpable sense of gloom surrounding the Irish boxing squad deepened last night when lightweight David Oliver Joyce exited the Games.
While Joyce's loss to No 2 seed Albert Selimov wasn't unexpected, it does represent another blow to the beleaguered Irish camp still reeling from the fall-out after Michael O'Reilly's failed dope test and Paddy Barnes' first-round defeat.
Joyce's cause wasn't helped when he sustained a cut close to his right eye after a clash of heads at the end of the first round, and wily veteran Selimov focused on the wound with a series of shots at the beginning of the second round.
Near the end of the third round the doctor was called to examine the bloodied cut, but while he allowed the fight to continue, by then the Irishman's cause was doomed.
He lost the first round 10-9 on all three judges' cards; one judge gave him the nod in the second and he had the consolation of winning the third on two cards after a storming finish.
But it didn't impact on the final result as Selimov, who has never won an Olympic medal, moved into the quarter-finals with a 29-28 verdict across the board.
"We knew it was going to be an uphill battle against him. I gave everything I could in there. I tried everything I could but the better man came out on the day," lamented Joyce.
"He was one of the trickiest guys I ever boxed. I found it difficult to get my shots off.
"I got a bit anxious with the cut eye in the first round."
Joyce said his corner thought the fight was level going into the third round. As it transpired, the Athy man would have needed a knockout to get the verdict but it wasn't to be.
He will now take a holiday with his family before deciding about his future.