Battling Emmet Brennan bows out – Asian champion ends the Cinderella story

The book closed on the Olympic Cinderella Story this afternoon as Emmet Brennan suffered defeat in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan this afternoon.

The Dubliner’s Olympic story has captured the attention of many and while he threatened to write another chapter in Tokyo he ultimately came out second best to World Championship silver medal winner Dilshodbek Ruzmetov in the Round of 32.

The Inner City Dub gave a good account of himself and pushed the Asian champion, but just couldn’t produce the shock the whole of Irish boxing was praying for.

Brennan didn’t reach the top in terms of Tokyo but went out against a top operator and a likely medalist.

Speaking after the fight a devastated Brennan revealed he had the wind taken out him by a body shot at the tail end of the first, a shot that inflamed an injury, which prevented the light heavyweight from sparring in the build-up to the Games.

The first round was a scrappy enough affair. Brennan was forcing the issue, shooting the straight right to the body and jumping in, which lead to a lot of holding. His southpaw opponent wasn’t looking as classy as built but did show flashes of quality to take round across the board.

A well-timed right hook at the start of the second set the tone for a better round from the Docklands fighter. The Uzbek medal favourite did manage to find his range – and with a little more space to work landed some eye-catching shots. However, Brennan was landing too and finished the round with a nice combination. The 30-year-old managed to win the round on two judges’ scorecards but was left with a mountain to climb going into the last.

He got his hiking boots out and attempted to reach the summit in the last stanza. There was no faulting his industry or effort and he seemed to have begun to time the slip right hand the corner was calling for. However, the cleaner work still came from the blue corner and the shock never materialised.

Next up for Ireland is team captain Brendan Irvine. The St Pauls fighter gets his second Olympics underway at 4:00am Monday. The Belfast flyweight takes on Filipino Carlo Paalam in the Round of 32.

Featherweight fourth seed Michaela Walsh will also be in action in the early hours of Monday morning fighting at 6:30am. The Belfast talent will face top Italian Irma Testa – who she has traded wins with this year – in her Last 16 clash.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com