JJ Joyce progresses to semi-finals

John Joe Joyce got Ireland back to winning ways with a quarter final victory over Bulgarian light welterweight Dimitar Stilianov at the European Senior Championships in Liverpool tonight.

John Joe Joyce got Ireland back to winning ways with a quarter final victory over Bulgarian light welterweight Dimitar Stilianov at the European Senior Championships in Liverpool tonight.

The Irish senior champion beat the 2004 European lightweight champion 9-7 in a bout which was poised on a knife edge (1-1, 2-2, 4-4) all the way down to the final round where Joyce found that extra gear.

Tonight's win at the Greenbank Academy guarantees the St Michael's Athy man at least bronze - Ireland's second of the tournament following Ross Hickeys win yesterday.

Joyce, nicknamed triple J, will now meet Hungarian Gyula Kate in tomorrows 64kg semi-final in a repeat of last Augusts Olympic clash in Beijing which Joyce won 9-5.

Middleweight Eamon O'Kane and heavyweight Con Sheehan will be in the ring over the next hour and a half.

Earlier today, featherweight David Oliver Joyce, a first cousin of John Joes, exited the European Senior Championships at the quarter final stage this afternoon after he was beaten 10-2 by Ukrainian Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachenko at the Greenbank Academy in Liverpool.

Lomachenko, a silver medallist at the 2007 World Championships in Chicago, who also claimed the boxer of the tournament award at the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, is now guaranteed at least a bronze medal.

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