Lightweight David Oliver Joyce last night won his sixth Irish senior title with a close win over European Games bronze medalist Sean McComb.
The St Michael’s Athy man, who narrowly missed out on qualification to both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, is now in pole positions to go to the Olympic qualifiers next year and finally make it to the Holy Grail of amateur boxing.
A very tight fight, the bout was decided by a split decision, with Joyce winning out after growing in to the bout and taking control after a great first round from McComb.
The softly-spoken heavy hitter was ecstatic with the win, explaining afterwards that “I’ve waited and waited and I’ve been training a long long time for this.”
“I’m just delighted with the win against him.”
“You couldn’t get any better boxer than Sean McComb, he’s up there with all the top international boxers.”
Indeed, as Joyce described it, the final was “a qualifier for the qualifiers” and Irish boxing’s nearly man is already looking forward to setting the record straight and making it to the Olympic Games after so many cruel disappointments.
“Hopefully this time I’ll know, without a doubt, that I’ll be on that plane with the boys to Rio.”
“I knew tonight that this is the start of it.”
“I’ve got a couple of [APB] fights before I can go to the qualifiers in April and May. I’ll take a couple of weeks off, enjoy Christmas with the family, I’ve been away from them for the last five or six weeks – then get back in to it in January.”