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Patsy Joyce has to settle for European bronze

Patsy Joyce has to settle for European Youth Championship bronze after suffering defeat in Sofia today.

Joyce came out on the wrong side of a unanimous points decision in a 48kg semi-final.

The decorated teenager secured bronze with victory over Ukraine’s Vladislav Kondratuk on Tuesday and within 24 hours was looking to become a European silver medal winner.

However, he was unable to find passage past the talented Kanan Babayev of Azerbaijan. Joyce didn’t have the same spring in his step as yesterday and once Babayev figured out his long jab he always looked destined to win.

Joyce, who to his credit took a first-ever defeat extremely well, will be disappointed initially, but once the immediate pain of defeat wears off he can reflect on a great tournament and a great achievement.

The six-time Irish champion is now also a European medalist and you can be sure the confident and vocal youngster will have no issue letting people know that’s the case.

Serenaded by Anna Moore’s rendition of the Fields of Athenry, Joyce started off where he left off yesterday. His southpaw jab instantly became the most effective punch in the first half of the round and it looked like he was set to assert dominance. However, as the stanza progressed Babayev managed to close the distance and had enough success mid to close range to win the round on four of the judge’s scorecards.

Joyce employed a righter guard when his opponent was in range in the second and it allowed him to catch and counter. His footwork was also improved but he was in against a quality foe who was more suited to the scrappier nature of the fight and retained the advantage going into the last.

The Olympic Mullingar flyweight’s style doesn’t lend itself to pressing for a result-changing knockout, so all he could do was push to win the round wide. He was given hope in that regard when Babayev was docked a point – but all hope of victory was gone when the Westmeath fighter also fell foul of the referee just seconds later.

Team Ireland has won a record eight medals at this European Youth Championships. Seven more fighters will look to improve bronze to silver across a busy day for the sport.

Ring A, Afternoon Session – watch here

Bout 8: 48kg Georgia Dunn McGovern V Filiz Isik of Turkey

Bout 12: 70kg Laura Moran V Oliwia Marta Czerwinska of Poland

Bout 14: 81kg Dearbhla Tinnelly V Sofia Stigen Sorensen

Ring B, Afternoon Session – watch here

Bout 11: 63kg Winnie McDonagh V Valentina Marra of Italy

Ring A, Evening Session

Bout 8: 50kg Katie O’Keeffe V Jessica Vollmann of Germany

Ring B, Evening Session

Bout 4: 71kg Bobbi Flood v Mirko Sarcevic, MNE

Bout 11: 81kg+ Cliona D’Arcy V Maja Weronika Bochen of Poland.

Team Ireland Squad:
48kg: Georgia McGovern, Setanta              

48kg: Patsy Joyce, Olympic                         

50kg: Katie O’Keefe, Kanturk                 

51kg: Adam McKenna, Holy Family          

52kg: Esther Lambe, Setanta

54kg: Shakira Donoghue, Templemore 

54kg: Gavin Ryan, Ratoath                        

57kg: Yasmin Meredith, Corinthians: Team Captain        

57kg: John Donoghue, St Michaels Athy

60kg: Jason Nevin, Olympic

63kg: Winnie McDonagh, Neilstown              

63.5kg: Tom McDonnell, Docklands                             

66kg: Gabrielle Mongan, Whitechurch          

67kg: Jim Donovan, Our Lady of Lourdes

70kg: Laura Moran, St Annes

71kg: Bobbi Flood, Cabra: Team Captain.                                   

75kg: Emma Keating, Paulstown                            

75kg: Joshua Olaniyan, Jobstown                             

80kg: Ryan Murphy, Neilstown                             

81kg: Dearbhla Tinnelly, Clann Naofa     

81+kg: Cliona Darcy, Tobar Pheadair   

86kg: Nathan Ojo, Esker

92kg: David J McDonagh, Olympic               

92+kg: Bernie Cawley, St David’s, Naas

Team Manager:          

Anna Moore 


James Doyle 

Liam Cunningham 

Aoife Hennigan 

Gerard McDaid 

Jim O’Neill

R & J:                          

Martin O’Neill

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: