Ray Moylette sounds warning ahead of national championship final

Former European Elite and AIBA World Youth champion Ray Moylette believes he has a point to prove against Wexford’s Dean Walsh at the National Elite Championships at the National Stadium, Dublin.

Moylette edged Wayne Kelly on a split decision in Saturday’s 64kg semi-final to set up Friday’s decider with Walsh, a nephew of ex-Irish head coach Billy Walsh, in a repeat of January’s Elite final which Walsh won on a split.

“I got the job done and I’m through to another final. I think this is my fourth, I won the first one. The last time [with Walsh] it was very close, it could have gone either way,” said Mayo native Moylette.

“It’s the same opposition, same final, but this time it will be a different result. Dean Wash is an obstacle in the way that will have to be taken care of.

“I carried that burden with me [of losing to Walsh] the last couple of months. Those are the regrets, but there won’t be any regrets this time.”

Michael O’Reilly still looks back in disgust at the decision that cost him a place at the Olympics — but the World Elite bronze medallist has put that shocking verdict behind him. The Portlaoise BC middleweight, the current European Games champion, beat John Joyce in the last-four on Saturday on a unanimous decision.

He’ll now meet Newry’s Conor Wallace, who also won at the weekend, on Friday targeting a third successive Irish belt ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in Istanbul next April.

O’Reilly reached the World Elite 75kg semi-final in Doha, Qatar in October, but was controversially beaten by Egypt’s Hossam Abdin in a box-off between the beaten semi-finalists for a place at the Olympics. A forensic frame-by-frame breakdown of that fight by a top performance analyst confirmed that the Irishman clearly won in the Persian Gulf.

“I was absolutely disgusted when it happened, I still am. I don’t like looking back on it. It’s not very nice to watch, but I’ve moved on from it,” admitted 22-year-old O’Reilly.

“My focus now is on the final and there’s Olympic qualifiers coming up next April. I got the result and I’m on my way to my third final, going for the hat-trick.

“I wasn’t taking him [John Joyce] for granted. I knew he was a good up and coming lad.

“He won a European bronze medal a few weeks back and I knew he’d be no pushover.

“I’d be confident going into the final. It’s what I’ve been preparing for. I have to do what I do best. I’m focusing on that. Then I’ll focus on the qualifiers for Rio.”

Defending lightweight champion Sean McComb, Brendan Irvine, Myles Casey, JP Delaney, Martin Stokes, and Thomas Carty also won on Saturday.

Irvine, ranked No. 7 in the world, beat ex-World Junior champion Willie Donoghue and McComb edged George Bates on a split to set up a 60kg showdown with three-time EU champion David Oliver Joyce.

O’Reilly’s brother and Portlaise BC team-mate Bernard also won on Saturday to make Friday’s finals in the last outing of 2015 for Ireland’s Elites.

Meanwhile, former Irish head coach Billy Walsh helped steer America to gold in his first competitive outing as USA head coach at an Olympic Test event in Rio yesterday.

Texas flyweight Virginia Fuchs beat England’s World Elite finalist Lisa Whiteside on a unanimous decision to claim gold on Sunday, 24 hours after beating India’s five-time World Elite champion Mary Kom in the last-four. Fuchs, with Walsh working her corner, could meet Ireland’s Michaela Walsh in the World Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Kazakhstan next May.

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