Mixed fortunes for Irish boxers

Published Friday, 20 April 2012
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There were mixed fortunes for Irish Olympic boxing hopefuls as Belfast heavyweight Tommy McCarthy failed to qualify for the London Games, while Wexford welterweight Adam Nolan secured his place.

Mixed fortunes for Irish boxers
Tommy McCarthy will have to wait until 2016 for another Olympic chance. (© Pacemaker)

McCarthy bowed out at the semi-final stage of the qualifiers in Turkey, losing to Vladimir Cheles of Moldova on Friday evening.

McCarthy, who needed to win gold to qualify for London, was 4-3 down after the first and 8-6 in arrears going into the third and final frame of a very tactical 91kg battle.

Cheles edged the last frame 6-7 to post a 15-12 verdict.

McCarthy will now have to wait until 2016 for another Olympic chance.

"I just waited too long from the first round and it was too late," the Belfast boxer said.

"The last round I was trying to put the pressure on but I should have been doing that for the full three rounds", said McCarthy.

"I'm just devastated, four years is a long wait, I'm gutted. At the end of the day, that's what counts isn't it? I can't make any excuses, he done the job on the day and I didn't."

Meanwhile, Wexford boxer Nolan became the fifth Irishman to make the London Games after winning his semi-final on Friday.

Nolan defeated Romanian Ionut Gheorghe 19-10 - winning every round of the bout in Trabzon.

He said that he had realised a lifetime ambition.

"It's just unbelievable, I can't believe it. It's a boyhood dream," he said.

Irish head coach Billy Walsh said he was thrilled with the win.

"It was a fantastic result. I know his family. They are big GAA people, said Walsh, a former Irish Olympian.

"It's massive for Wexford. He's the second Wexford boxer ever to qualify for the Olympic Games, following after myself.

"It's nice to see someone else take up the mantle and hopefully do a lot better than I did."

Nolan, Paddy Barnes, Darren O'Neill, John Joe Nevin and Michael Conlan will represent Ireland this summer.

Meanwhile, Belfast light-flyweight Barnes, who has already qualified for the Olympics, lost 21-14 to Turkish boxer Ferhat Pehlivan in his semi-final on Friday.

© UTV News
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