Darren "TKO" O'Neill

Darren “TKO” O’Neill

Darren O’Neill and David Oliver Joyce joined Katie Taylor, Ceire Smith, Christina Desmond and Brendan Irvine in the quarter-finals of the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey today and this evening.

Joyce recorded his second successive victory over Georgian lightweigh Otar Eranosyan this afternoon and O’Neill wasted little time dispatching Gabriel Richards, the Kilkenny southpaw stopping the Swede in the first round tonight.

Earlier today, Michael O’Reilly bowed out after dropping a unanimous decision to Finland’s Ilari Kijala. O’Reilly, the No. 1 seed in the middleweight class in Samsun, picked up a shoulder injury in the first round.

Today’s wins set up another crucial day for Irish boxing. All six boxers will be in action tomorrow battling for places in the last four.

The top three in the ten men’s weights in Samsun qualify for Rio 2016 . The top two in their tree Olympic weights for women – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – qualify.

Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger and John Conlan are working Ireland’s corner in Samsun.


European Olympic qualifiers Samsun, Turkey

(A & E denotes Afternoon and Evening sessions)

April 9th


64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) beat Erik Agataljan (Czech Republic) 3-0

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Simen Nysater (Norway) 3-0

April 11th

Last 16

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Virginia Barankas (Hungary) 3-0

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Hamza Touba (Germany) 3-0

64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Lorenzo Sotomayor (Azerbaijan) 1-2

60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Martina Schmoranzova (Czech Republic) 3-0

75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Nouchka Fontijan (Netherlands) 2-0

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Mahammadrausl Majidor (Azerbaijan) 0-3

April 12th

Last 16

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Otar Eranosyan (Georgia)  3-0

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Ilari Kijala (Finland) 0-3

91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Gabriel Richards (Sweden) TKO1

April 13th


F51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Tetyna Kob (Ukraine)

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Ellie Konki (France)

F60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Yvonne Rasmussen (Denmark)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Vazgen Sufaryants (Belarus)

F75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Patra Scatmari (Hungary)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Abdulkadir Abdullayev (Azerbaijan)

Irish squad


51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)

60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)

75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)


52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (AIBA Pro Boxing)

64kg Dean Walsh (St Joesphs/St Ibars)

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager: Joe Hennigan

Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physiotherapist: Julianne Ryan
Sports Psychologist: Gerry Hussey
Doctor: Jim Clover
Performance Analyst: Alan Swanton