Brilliant O’Reilly wins medal number four for Ireland

Less than half an hour after Katie Taylor, Portlaoise middleweight Michael O’Reilly confirmed another medal for Ireland at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

22 year old O’Reilly was dominant in his quarter final win against Slovenia’s Aljaz Venko (30-27 x3).

Almost as soon as the bout began O’Reilly had re-opened a cut on the brow of Venko. The Slovenian was initially very cagey but this allowed O’Reilly to score eye-catching, debilitating, body punches before moving gradually upstairs as the round progressed.

The second round saw Venko requiring attention to his cut twice, disrupting the flow of the fight. However, the Portlaoise BC man was still impressive, especially with some stylish uppercuts. After a strong start to the final round, O’Reilly was able to take his foot off the pedal and dance his way to victory and a fourth medal for the Irish boxers in Baku.

O’Reilly will now face Russia’s Maxim Koptyakov, who is a European gold (2011) and silver (2008) medalist, in the semi finals. This bout will take place on Friday at 10am Irish time.

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