Joyce two wins away from Rio

Irish lightweight David Oliver Joyce edged a step closer to qualifying for the Rio Olympics on Saturday and, along with Katie Taylor, scooped one of the top accolades at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s Awards Night in Dublin.

Joyce two wins away from Rio

Joyce, who beat Germany’s Artur Bril in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) in Kazakhstan, and Taylor were named as the best Male and Female International Achievers at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel.

Taylor claimed her fifth and sixth AIBA World and European Elite lightweight titles in 2014 and is now the most successful world female boxer of all-time.

Joyce won his third successive European Union Elite gold medal in 2014. The Irish lightweight cruised to a unanimous decision (60-53,60-53, 55-55) over Bril over SIX APB rounds in Astana on Saturday.

“David was outstanding, absolutely outstanding against a tough German opponent,” said Irish head coach Billy Walsh, who was working Joyce’s corner with John Conlan.

Joyce and Joe Ward, who has also won two and lost one in APB, will be in APB action again next month, two wins each away from qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.

Joyce meets Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy and Ward is in against Bulgaria’s Spas Genov, who has returned from the pro ranks to join APB.

Ireland’s Youth Olympians, Ciara Ginty, Michael Gallagher and Christina Desmond, were also honoured at the IABA Awards.

Ginty, the 2013 AIBA World Junior lightweight champion, won silver at the 2014 Youth Olympics in China and Gallagher took home the bronze.

Kilkenny’s Claire Grace won bronze at the European Women’s Elite Championships to become the only Irish female boxer besides Taylor to medal at this level.

Michael Nevin won one of the Best Junior awards.

IABA award winners

International Achievers Award: Katie Taylor (Bray), David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s, Athy)

Olympic (Youths) Achievers:

Ciara Ginty (Geesala) Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley) Christina Desmond (Macroom)

Services to Boxing Award: Billy O’Donovan (Leeside Lough) Tomy O’Mahoney (Edenmore) Harry Doherty (Belfast) Larry Morrison (Garda)

Hall of Fame Administrator: Olive Keogh

Best Club Award: Ryston

Best Coaching Award: Ryston

Best Referee/Judge: Philip Rooney (UCD)

Elite Men’s Award: Stephen Donnelly (All Saints)

Elite Women’s Award: Claire Grace (Callan)

Intermediate Men’s Award: Johnny Harty (Rathkeale)

Intermediate Women’s Award: Shanice Just (Arklow)

Male Youth Award: James Cleary (Olympic) John Joyce (St Michaels Athy)

Female Youth Award: Kristina O’Hara (Emerald) Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone)

Male Junior Award: Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) Aaron McKenna (Old School) Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

Female Junior Award: Shaneen Flynn (Crumlin)

Schoolboy Award: Luke Hurley (Tramore) Barry McReynolds (Holy Trinity)

Schoolgirl Award: Evelynn Igharo (Clann Naofa)

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