O'Neill: I had an uphill battle after slow first round

O'Neill: I had an uphill battle after slow first round

Kilkenny boxer Darren O'Neill has admitted that he was slow to come out of the blocks in his round of 16 defeat to German boxer Stefan Hartel.

The Rathfarnham club man, who lost 19-12, said he had trained and sparred with the German before and had got the better of him then, but today was a different proposition.

O'Neill said: "I knew what I was doing wrong then and I thought today that I had the capability of beating him, I thought I would, but I was a little bit slow at implementing the tactics in the first round, he got a lead and it was an uphill battle after that.

"I was finding it hard to slip in any punches in the first round, so I was trying my best to get my hands up quickly after a punch, but he pushes you, so your head is tilted back and he pops punches through."

"I am disappointed, but he performed very well and he deserved to win today."

O'Neill pinpointed the German's defence as one of the main reasons he lost his bout today.

He said: "He holds a very high guard, he is very durable and he has got a lightning fast backhand, you just don't see it coming.

"He waits for you to finish an attack and pops out that right hand, it's very hard to escape from."

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