O’Neill ‘absolutely gutted after quarter final reverse

DARREN O’Neill is ‘heartbroken’ after just falling short of winning a European Championships medal.

O’Neill exited the heavyweight competition at the quarter final stage losing to Ukrainian  Gevorg Manukian.

The defeat came via a controversial split decision and both the outcome and scoring upset the fighter, who represented Ireland at middleweight in the Olympics.

“I’m absolutely gutted,” O’Neill told reporters afterward. “I’m going to have to come away and look at that fight after. I thought I did enough. Reports after tell me two judges gave me the second round and two judges the third so I won the second and third rounds and didn’t win the fight.

“I thought I landed the cleaner shots, I felt it was my fight, I felt I won it and it’s heartbreaking to be going home. He probably felt he won it as well.

“The new scoring system can be a little bit subjective, depending on the judges and the style they like. Even the home crowd at the end made it obvious that they felt the decision was wrong.”

When asked about whether Rio 2016 was a realistic goal, O’Neill said: “I’m not realistically looking at it, I’m looking at the European championships in August. Unfortunately, I’ve been beaten in too many of these potential medal fights, this is my third European qualifier to be beaten in”

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years