Pierce O’Leary lost for words following controversial loss at Euro U22s


Pierce O’Leary was left dumbstruck today at the European Under-22 Championships in Russia.

The Dublin light welter was one of two Irish boxers in Last 16 action in Sunday’s afternoon session in Vladikavkaz and, while featherweight Mary Geraghty was defeated by a more experienced opponent, O’Leary’s loss was harder to take.

Dubliner Geraghty was involved in a war with Scot Victoria Glover and acquitted herself well against the Commonwealth Games and World Championships participant but was beaten on a clear unanimous decision by her strong foe (27-30 x4, 26-30)

Immediately after it was the turn of O’Leary who was up against Michael McDonagh of Wales.

The pro-styled O’Leary looked extremely strong, troubling McDonagh whenever he landed but the slipperly Welshman made things awkward and messy.

The Commonwealth bronze medallist would be landing shots during the frequent clinches and employed some tidy footwork but looked to be being out-fought by the Docklands power-puncher.

The judges, however, would disagree, and awarded McDonagh the verdict on a wide unanimous decision (28-29 x3, 27-30 x2) and O’Leary, who tried to force the fight throughout, could hardly believe the result.

Ireland have one more fighter in Last 16 action today with Davey Oliver Joyce, fresh from his sensational win over Ukraine, in action against Russian home favourite Beslan Khamzaev at lightweight at around 3:45pm (Irish time) in Ring A.

You can watch Joyce’s fight (as well as look back on O’Leary’s loss) below :

Tomorrow, then, it will be the turn of Paddy Donovan and Gabriel Dossen who are both in action in the Last 16 at welterweight and middleweight respectively.

The draws in full can be seen here.

Friday March 8th
(Last 16)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat En Gizem (Turkey) 5-0
64kg Shauna O’Callaghan (Ireland) lost to Chelsey Heijnen (Netherlands) RSC2

Saturday March 9th
Last 32
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Oleg Chulkyacheyev (Ukraine) 5-0
69kg Paddy Donovan (Ireland) beat Sam Wagensvela (Netherlands) 4-1
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) beat Andrei Vreme (Moldova) 5-0

Sunday March 10th
Last 16
57kg Mary Geraghty (Ireland) lost to Victoria Glover (Scotland) 0-5
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Beslan Khamzaev (Russia)
64kg Pierce O’Leary (Ireland) lost to Mike McDonagh (Wales) 0-5

Monday March 11th
Last 16
69kg Paddy Donovan (Ireland) v Vakhid Abbasov (Russia)
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) v Alberto Simion (Romania)

Tuesday March 12th
Q/Finals
51kg Niamh Earley (Ireland) v Giovanna Marchese (Italy)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) v Kinga Mezovari (Hungary)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Anastasiya Shamonovan (Russia)

Wednesday March 13th
Q/Finals
52kg Adam Hession (Ireland) v Rotyslav Bilototskyi (Ukraine)

48kg No entrant
51kg Niamh Earley (Ryston)
52kg Adam Hession (Monivea)
54kg No entrant
56kg No entrant
57kg Mary Geraghty (St Anthony’s)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
60kg Davey Oliver Joyce (Ballymun)
64kg Shauna O’Callaghan (Clann Naofa)
64kg Pierce O’Leary (Dublin Docklands)
69kg No entrant
69kg Patrick Donovan (OLOL)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) C
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic) C
81kg No entrant
81kg No entrant
+81kg No entrant
91kg No entrant
+91kg No entrant

Team Manager: Stephen Molloy
Head Coach: Dmitry Dmitruk
Coaches: Anita Just, Philip Keogh

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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