Michael O’Reilly had to settle for silver at the Standja Memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria today after losing out to Uzbekistan’s Youth Olympic champion Bektemir Melikuziev.
The Portlaoise BC middleweight appeared to be on his way to victory after edging the first round on two cards, but the Uzbek won rounds two and three to take the gold medal.
Irish head coach Billy Walsh hailed O’Reilly’s – he received a warning for dropping his head in the second round today – performances in Sofia at the 66th edition of the tournament.
“Michael was fantastic all week. He’s had four tough battles here against quality boxers and he’s been absolutely outstanding in his four fights, he said.
“I thought he did enough to win today and so did the crowd here as they booed after the result was announced. Michael can be proud of his performances here and his siler medal.”
This is the second silver medal O’Reilly, the current Irish Elite champion, has won in Bulgaria inside the last seen months as he reached the 75kg final at the EU Elite Championships in the Bulgarian capital August.
The Irish squad are due to arrive home from Bulgaria at 11:30am tomorrow morning, March 1st, via Dublin Airport.
66th Strandja Multi Nations
February 24th Prelims
69kg: Adam Nolan (Ireland) lost to Madrimoy Israel (Uzbekistan) 0-3
52kg: Myles Casey (Ireland) lost to Jack Bateson (England) 0-3
56kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Dave Cesar (Seychelles) 3-0
91+kg: Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Dan Toborsky (Czech Rep) 3-0
February 25th (last 16)
49kg: Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Artur Ogamesyan (Armenia) 1-2
51kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Anakhamm Agayeva (Azerbaijan) 3-0
75kg: Laoise Traynor (Ireland) lost to Viktorya Kebikave (Belarus) 0-3
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland beat Badri Khardziani (Georgia) 3-0
February 26th Q/Final
56kg: Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Muradjan Akhamadlieve (Uzbekistan) 1-2
51kg: Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Petrova Stoyka (Bulgaria) 0-3
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Mariyan Momchev (Bulgaria) 3-0
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Rustan Tulaganov (Uzbekistan) 0-3
91kg+: Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kazakhstan) 1-2
February 27th S/Finals
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Rustan Syoyev (Kazakhstan) 2-1
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Bektemir Melikuziev (Uzbekistan) 0-3
49kg: Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s Antrim)
51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan)
52kg: Myles Casey (St Francis)
56kg: Kurt Walker (Canal)
69kg: Adam Nolan (Bray)
75kg: Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Silver)
75kg: Louise Traynor (Bray)
91kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91+kg: Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Jimmy Halpin, Antoinette Faye