Disastrous day goes from bad to worse for Irish boxers at Olympic Qualifiers

It's been a disastrous day for the Irish boxers after all three fighters lost at the European Olympic Qualifiers in Turkey.

Katie Taylor, Brendan Irvine and David Oliver Joyce all started the day just one victory away from the Rio Olympics, but none of them could manage a win in their semi-finals.

Taylor's unanimous decision loss to Yana Alexseevna of Azerbaijan was her first defeat in five years and is a major set-back to the defence of her Olympic title.

The Bray native will now enter into a third-place box-off on Sunday where there's no Olympic spot on the line.

However it could enhance her prospects of securing a spot at next month's World Championships in Astana where a semi-final berth would be enough to get her to Rio.

Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna is declared the winner. Photo: INPHO/Ilyas Gun
Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna is declared the winner. Photo: INPHO/Ilyas Gun

Irvine and Joyce still have another shot at Olympic qualification this week.

The pair will both go into third-place box-offs over the weekend with the winners securing an Olympic spot.

Ireland's Brendan Irvine in action against Narek Abgaryan of Armenia. Photo: INPHO/Ilyas Gun
Ireland's Brendan Irvine in action against Narek Abgaryan of Armenia. Photo: INPHO/Ilyas Gun

Irvine lost a unanimous decision to his Armenian opponent in their flyweight contest - the teenager produced a strong final round that forced his opponent into a standing count, but he was ultimately out-classed by a more-experienced rival.

He will have to bounce-back for tomrrrow's box-off against Bulgaria's Daniel Asenov.

David Oliver Joyce produced a spirited showing against Joe Cordina of Wales but ultimately also lost-out and will have to face a Turkish opponent in the box-off on Sunday.

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