Upsets at box-offs

March 2008

The dream of representing Ireland in Beijing has died for John Joe McDonagh and Con Sheehan, both of whom were beaten in the Box-offs for the final Olympic qualifier in Athens next month.

Brosna’s McDonagh was agonizingly beaten by a single point in his welterweight bout with Willie McLouglin at the National Stadium on Saturday night and the latter will now take on Roy Sheahan – fitness permitting – for a place on the Ireland team for the trip to Greece.

Sheahan is the current Irish champion at 69kg but he is currently out of action with a broken hand, an injury which forced him to withdraw from last month’s Olympic qualifier in Pescara, Italy.

Meanwhile, teenage heavyweight Sheehan was edged out 8-6 in a cagey clash by Tom Sheahan, the man he defeated to win the Irish senior title at 91kg in January.

Elsewhere, Darren Sutherland kept his hopes of qualifying for Beijing alive with a 15-8 win over his great middleweight rival, Darren O’Neill.

Light-heavyweight Ken Egan had a comfortable evening’s work, the Irish captain seeing his opponent, Michael Mullaney, retired after the third round of a one-sided affair.

Elsewhere, flyweight Conor Ahern recovered from a standing count in the first to stop Ruairi Dalton, while David Oliver Joyce also had a tricky time of it early on before seeing off Carl Frampton.

There were comfortable wins for Ross Hickey and John Joe Joyce, while Cathal McMonagle enjoyed a walkover.

The week-long qualifier in Greece will get underway on April

Light-flyweight Paddy Barnes and bantamweight John Joe Nevin have already secured their berths in this summer’s Games in Beijing.

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