David Oliver Joyce made it two wins on the trot for Ireland at the Olympic Games in Rio tonight.
The St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight beat Andrique Allisop on a unanimous decision – 30-37,29-28-30-27.
The man from the Seychelles, a two time Olympian, made a solid start, but Joyce, operating behind a high guard and working the body in the early exchanges,began to find his range and distance in the latter part of the frame to find the target with hooks off both hands.
Allisop needed attention to a cut over his left eye after an accidental elbow in the second, a round which Joyce,again detonating hooks,edged on a split, leaving the St Michael’s Athy man two rounds up on two cards going into the third,a frame which Joyce won on all three cards to cap a fine performance against a tricky opponent.
He’ll now meet former AIBA World Elite champion Albert Selimov of Azerbaijan, who claimed a World title for Russia in Chicago in 2007.
Meeting a World champion won’t phase Joyce, however.The three-time EU champion has beaten Italy’s ex AIBA World champion Dominico Valentino twice, once in the World Series and once in regular amateur boxing, in the past.
“The first one is always the toughest to get out of the way,”said Joyce, who has also won and lost against his former Irish team mate Carl Frampton, the current World featherweight champion.
“I’m delighted the way it went. We knew it was going to be ups and downs, but I’m just delighted.
“This is where I’m meant to be,I missed out on the last two Olympics and this is where I’m meant to be and this is where I want to be and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.”
Earlier today, Ballymena welter Donnelly outclassed Zahir Kedache of Algeria to book his ticket into the last 16 versus Tuvshinbat Byamba of Mongolia.
Donnelly won every stanza to advance after a superb display of footwork,speed and shot selection, particularly in the second round.
The Irish welter, occasionally switching to southpaw,was awarded one 10-8 frame en route to a 29-28,30-26,30-27 decision.
The durable North African sent a few Hail Mary hooks whizzing past Donnelly’s head throughout today’s three-rounder, but the Ulster ace was alert to anything his opponent was throwing at him and is thrilled with his first Olympic win.
He said: “It’s always good to get the first one out of the way. The pressure and stuff, everyone back home watching.
“I was comfortable. He was a crafty southpaw and I just had to listen to my coaches in the corner, use my jab, feint.
“The spirit in the camp is fantastic.This is only the start of the journey and hopefully I can keep that going and do the country proud.
“I’ll be better next time,” vowed Donnelly after a world class Olympic debut.
Meanwhile, Andrea Mina (Ecuador) beat Germany’s Serge Michel today and will meet Joe Ward in the last 16 in midweek.
Paddy Barnes will be between the ropes tomorrow evening versus Spain’s Samuel “El Infierno” Carmona in the light-fly class looking to join Katie Taylor in the quarter-finals.
Carmona beat his compatriot Martin Molina en route to gold at the 2015 Spanish Championships and in the Totana Cup final earlier this year. Barnes, boxing at flyweight, beat Molina in the Algirdas Socikas final in Lithuania last March.
If Ireland’s flag bearer at the Rio Games beats the Madrid orthodox in Rio he will be one victory away from becoming the first Irish athlete to claim three successive Olympic medals.
Both Donnelly and Joyce were making their Olympic debuts today.
Irish Draw Rio Olympics
August 7th (last 32)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Andrique Allisop (Seychelles) 3-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Zahir Kedache (Algeria) 3-0
August 8th (last 16)
49kg Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Samuel Carmona (Spain)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Albert Selimov (Azerbaijan)
August 10th (last 16)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) v Andrea Mina (Ecuador)
August 11th (last 16)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) v Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia)
August 12th (last 16)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Uziel Rodriquez (Mexico) or Waheed Karawi (Iraq)
August 13th (last 32)
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan)
August 14th (last 16)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Aram Avagyan (Armenia) or Arashi Mariska (Japan)
August 15th (Q/Finals)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Mira Potkonen (Finland) or Adriana Araujo (Brazil)
60kg (Lightweight) – Katie Taylor (Bray)
49kg (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg (Flyweight) – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg (Bantamweight) – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy & AIBA Pro Boxing)
69kg (Welterweight) – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg (Middleweight) – Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
81kg (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate & AIBA Pro Boxing)
Team Manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physio: Julianne Ryan
Sport Psychologist: Gerry Hussey