Olympic dream over for Darren O’Neill

Darren O’Neill’s hopes of competing in a second Olympics were dashed today in the Last 16 of the final AOB qualifier in Azerbaijan.

The Kilkenny southpaw, fighting at heavyweight after competing as a middleweight at the London Games, lost a unanimous decision to 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Nigeria’s Efetobor Apochi.

The defeat will be especially disappointing for O’Neill who was contraversially denied a seemingly clear win against Azeri star Abdulkadir Abdullayev at the EUropean Olympic qualifier in Turkey in April.

Ireland’s hopes at the qualifiers now remain with middleweight Michael O’Reilly and Dean Gardiner, both of whom will be in action tomorrow.

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