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On This Day: August 16th

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2014: A successful week in Sofia ended with Ireland taking home one gold, two silver, and one bronze from the EU Championships.

Mullingar’s David Oliver Joyce claimed top prize in Bulgaria, his third EU gold. The St Michael’s Athy lightweight stopped Dane Mahmoud Khattab in his opening bout before wins over Pole Dawid Michelus and Lithuanian Edgaras Skurdelis brought him to the final. Here he defeated Georgian Otar Eranosyan to claim a gold medal to add to his golds from 2008 and 2009.

Darren O’Neill claimed silver in the light heavyweight class, with the Kilkenny puncher defeating Poland’s Jordan Kuliński, Georgian Nikoloz Sekhniashvili, and Frenchman Bakary Mamadou Diabira, before losing a split decision in the final to Italian Valentino Manfredonia.

Michael O’Reilly won his first senior international medal, taking silver, after wins over Slovak Henrich Bagin, Georgian Gocha Badurashvili, and Hungarian Balazs Bacskai. In the final the Portlaoise BC middleweight dropped a split decision to France’s Christian M’Billi Assomo.

Hughie Myers, who received a bye straight into the light flyweight semi finals, took home bronze, but was defeated in his first bout by Slovakian Stefan Mezei.

The higher-profile Commonwealth Games had taken place the week before, explaining the absence of the likes of Paddy Barnes and Mick Conlan.

Also on the Irish team for the tournament were Gary McKenna, Dean Walsh, John Joe Joyce, Gary Sweeney, and Dean Gardiner.

Mossy Condon defeated former champion Billy Gilmore at Dalymount Park in Dublin to win the vacant Irish welterweight title in what was just his second fight. Belfast’s Gilmore was a former two-time Irish lightweight champ, and had held the welterweight belt between 1928 and 1930, but retired after the sixth round and would never fight again after a fourteen-year ninety-two-fight career. Condon would later, unsuccessfully, challenge for the Irish middleweight title in 1939.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie