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Irish captain Brendan Irvine eliminated after split decision loss against Carlo Paalam

Belfast’s Brendan Irvine lost out in his round 32 flyweight bout earlier this morning.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CARLO PAALAM’S RELENTLESS pressure proved too much for Brendan Irvine today in the Belfast boxer’s round 32 flyweight bout. 

The Filipino was ferocious from the bell, marching forward and unleashing a huge right hand. The Irish captain was unable to find a flow or use his height advantage in the opening two rounds and a final flurry proved too little too late. 

From the blue corner, Paalam burst out of the blocks and lead with all five judges following the first round. The second was similar with two judges scoring it a draw, the other three all went against Irvine. 

Having set the tempo early on, Palaam sat back and utilised slick head movement to keep the 25-year old at bay. Gradually, Irvine found his range and picked up the pace. The last stand was not enough and he lost out on a split decision. 

It is a disappointing end for the Irish flag bearer, who also went out after his opening flyweight fight in Rio. 

For Irvine, his Olympic journey has been plagued with injury, and despite 18 months out of the ring, in his first fight back in March 2019, he qualified for his second Olympic Games.

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Reflecting on that Irvine added: “If you had asked me three years ago if would I have been at the Games I would have told you no. It’s an achievement to get here, but when you’re here, you obviously want more, and to get a medal – but it wasn’t meant to be. We’ve a superb team here, incredible athletes, and to be an Olympian is something special, so you can imagine the talent in each and every athlete here.”

There is more Irish boxing action later today. Michaela Walsh is set for her round of 16 bout against Irma Testa in the women’s 57kg featherweight division at 6.27am Irish time.  

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Maurice Brosnan

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