O’Neill becomes first Irish fighter to lose in London 2012
By Jonny Stapleton
IRELAND’s boxing team suffered defeat for the first time in the London 2012 Olympics Games as Team Captain Darren O’Neill bowed out of the competition this afternoon.
A brave effort wasn’t enough for the Kilkenny man and he exited the ExCel stage left after a 19-12 reverse to German Stefan Hartel.
Hartel, who shaded a sparring session between the pair of late, had the superior defence, shot selection and accuracy.
Hartel now goes on to fight British fighter Anthony Ogogo, a fighter O’Neill twice beat, in the quarter finals.
It seemed a battle of the tight guards in the first round and the German middleweight showed his defences to be that bit better and took a 6-4 lead into the second stanza.
World number 7 O’Neill improved in the second, looked composed and compact but the German opened up a substantial 14-8 advantage.
The Kilkenny teacher came out and gave it his all in the last round. He marched forward and threw as many shots as possible, but it wasn’t enough as Ireland lost their 100 percent record in the Games so far.