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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Michael O'Reilly has won Ireland's second gold of the day

The 22-year-old defeated Azerbaijani Xaybula Musalov in the middleweight final.

MICHAEL O’REILLY has won Ireland’s second gold medal of the day by defeating Azerbaijani’s Xaybula Musalov in the middleweight final.

O’Reilly set the tone early on with a fantastic first round, which saw all three judges score it for the Irishman. O’Reilly maintained his distance in the second round, boxing the majority of the round off the back-foot. But Musalov came out with renewed intensity and outworked O’Reilly, taking the second round across the board and leveling up the fight.

So it came down to a one round shootout. It was an incredibly hard fought battle but O’Reilly finished the stronger, catching his tiring opponent repeatedly. It was a tense wait for the judges verdict but all three judges scored it 29-28 for O’Reilly and he got his arm raised.

O’Reilly received a bye into the final when his scheduled Russian opponent Maxim Koptyakov was forced to withdraw from the competition with an eye injury. The Portlaoise native was awarded every round by every judge in a comprehensive victory over Aljaz Venko of Slovenia in the quarter-final.

O’Reilly’s win came less than two hours after Katie Taylor’s unanimous decision victory over France’s Estelle Mossely.

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About the author:

Donal Lucey

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