the dream of Olympic glory is over for Kilkenny boxer, Darren O’Neill. The brave Paulstown man was beaten 19-12 by powerful German, Stefan Haertel in their middleweight (75 kgs) bout this afternoon.
The German won all three rounds, 6-4, 8-4 and 5-4. O’Neill needed a knock-out or to force his opponent to take a count going into the last round, but despite an all action showing he just couldn’t turn things around.
“Haertel, with the defence he has, can go a long way towards winning this tournament,” said former Irish gold medal winner, Micael Carruth in summary afterwards.
“It was a decision you couldn’t argue with,” suggested Castlecomer man and former boxing star, Mick Dowling, when commenting on RTE after the fight. “Haertel’s defence was so tight he was almost impossible to open up.”
O’Neill, the captain of the Irish boxing team, lost serious ground in the second round, losing it 8-4, which left him 8-14 behind and in big trouble.