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Ryan Byrne/INPHO O'Neill: disappointment in Baku.
# Boxing
Olympic heartbreak for Darren O'Neill as he crashes out in Baku qualifier
Better news for Michael O’Reilly who moved to within two wins of qualification.

Updated 16.20

DARREN O’NEILL’S DREAM of boxing at a second Olympic Games is over.

The Kilkenny heavyweight crashed out of the penultimate boxing qualifier in Baku this afternoon, losing to Wesley Apochi of Nigeria on a unanimous decision in the last 16.

O’Neill, who represented Ireland in London four years ago, needed to win gold to secure the only 91kg spot on offer at the tournament.

Although there is one final qualifier still to take place in Venezuela next month, it is only open to boxers who have fought in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) or AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), as well as some professionals. Ray Moylette is the only Irish boxer eligible to fight at the tournament.

“Lost 3-0 today,” O’Neill wrote on Twitter. “The Rio dream is over.

“Thanks for all the support everyone. Probably did the better boxing but guy just mauled me. Gutted.”

There was better news for Michael O’Reilly who booked his place in the middleweight last 16 and moved to within two wins of qualification. He beat Vitalia Bandarenka of Belarus by unanimous decision.

With five middleweight berths on offer, a place in the semi-finals would be enough to guarantee his place on the plane.

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O’Reilly returns to the ring tomorrow as does Dean Gardiner who faces Ukraine’s Viktor Vychryst in the quarter-finals of the super-heavyweight division.

Gardiner also needs to win gold to qualify for Rio.

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