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How Irish boxers have fared against Italy

Ireland take on Italy tonight in Lille in their final group game at Euro 2016 and know that victory is vital to give them a chance of qualifying for the Last 16.

Ahead of the match, Irish-Boxing.com has taken a look at some previous Ireland v Italy fights over the years.

In the semi finals of the 1932 Olympics in Amsterdam, Dubliner Frank Traynor was bizarrely disqualified for no apparent reason against eventual gold medalist Vittorio Tamagnini. In the days before medals for both losing semi finalists, bantamweight Traynor lost out in the bronze medal bout to South African Harry Isaacs.

20 years later in Helsinki John McNally defeated Vincenzo Dall’osso to guarantee bronze. The Belfast bantamweight would eventually win silver, losing a disputed decision in the final to home fighter Pentti Hämäläinen.

Another Belfast bantamweight, Freddie Gilroy, would also defeat an Italian to guarantee bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Games. Gilroy defeated Mario Sitri before losing to German Wolfgang Behrendt in the final.

Derry legend Charlie Nash lost his European lightweight title to Giuseppe Gibilisco at Dalymount Park in 1981. The recent World title challenger was down in the second and the fourth before the bout was ended in the sixth

In 2008 Peter McDonagh retired injured in the sixth round of his EU light welterweight title fight with Giuseppi Lauri in Milan. Paul McCloskey would then exact revenge for Ireland in 2010 when he scored a stunning knockout over Lauri in Belfast to defend his European title.

Good luck to the Boys in Green tonight!

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