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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 09:49 GMT
Irish boxers edge nearer Beijing
Boxing
Irish fighters John Joe Nevin, Ken Egan and John Joe Joyce are now all just one win away from the Olympic Games after earning wins at the qualifier in Italy.

Cavan man Nevin beat Bulgarian Detelin Dalakliev 16-15 to progress to the semi-finals of the Pescara qualifier.

Three bantamweights from Pescara will progress to Beijing so Nevin will have two shots at qualification in Italy.

While Egan and Joyce also won, Holy Trinity's Cathal McMonagle, Darren Sutherland and Ross Hickey all lost.

Nevin produced a tremendous display to surprise Dalakliev who won the silver medal at the 2006 European Championships.

Light heavyweight Egan beat another Bulgarian Emil Krastev 29-8 while light welterweight Joyce stopped Serbian Milan Piperski after two rounds when he led 14-3.

Super heavyweight McMonagle lost 23-3 against Lithuania's Jaroslav Jaksto, lightweight Ross Hickey was beaten 39-22 by Hungary's Miklos Varga while middleweight Sutherland suffered a heartbreaking 23-22 defeat by England's James Degale.

Londoner Degale was hurt by a big right hand in round three and blew a 10-point lead in the all-action battle before finally rallying to clinch his semi-final place by the slenderest of margins.

Degale, who had lost his previous three fights against Sutherland, acknowledged:"I thought I was in control but Darren hit me with one hell of a shot. That set me back but I had no doubts I could win it."

Belfast flyweight Paddy Barnes is the only Irish boxer who has already qualified for the Olympics.



SEE ALSO
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Boxing jargon guide
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved


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