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Michael O'Reilly completes great day for Ireland at World Championships

Irish team captain Michael Conlan and teenager Brendan Irvine also recorded wins.

Ireland's Michael O'Reilly (file pic).
Ireland's Michael O'Reilly (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

PORTLAOISE MIDDLEWIGHT MICHAEL O’Reilly made it 3-0 for Ireland on day three of the World Championships in Doha on Thursday night.

Irish team captain Michael Conlan and teenager Brendan Irvine also recorded wins, with the trio progressing to the quarter-finals of the championships.

O’Reilly was the last Irish fighter in action on the night, with the classy 22-year-old seeing off Aussie Daniel Lewis to book a last-eight clash with Kazakh Zhanibek Alimkhanuly — the man who defeated Jason Quigley in the 2013 world final.

O’Reilly forced a count early on in the first round after unloading a number of punches and he danced around his opponent throughout their bout.

“I’m over the moon to get another win,something similar to my last one,” said O’Reilly,  who defeated Valerii Kharlamov of Ukraine in his opening contest on Tuesday.

“He came forward with big, heavy shots, but I stuck to what I do best, just hitting and moving,” added the Portlaoise man.

A healthy Irish crowd, mostly made up of ex-pats, cheered on the Irish to victory at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena.

Conlan defeated Brazilian bantamweight Robenilson Vieira de Jesus of Brazil, while his fellow Belfast fighter Irvine out-pointed Turkish light-flyweight Muhammet Unlu.

The first round of Conlan’s bout was surprisingly scored against the Irishman, with De Jesus looking to spoil and not landing with many shots.

The European champion took control in the second round, however, and overcame a low blow in the third — with his opponent issued a warning for the foul — to record a majority points win, 28-28, 29-27, 30-26.

“It’s been a long wait to get out. I started peaking midway through the camp, I was flying so I stopped sparring and I’ve been waiting to get into the ring,” said Conlan.

The Irish captain now moves on to a quarter-final battle with Tayfur Aliyev of Azerbaijan on Saturday, while Irvine will clash with Cuban No 3 seed Joahnys Argilagos.

Irvine took a bit of time to get into his fight against Unlu after seeing the bout switched to an earlier start time while he was finalising his pre-fight preparations.

The 19-year-old Belfast native gradually made the fight his own to record a split-decision win, 28-29, 29-28, 30-27.

Two more Irish fighters are in action tomorrow, with light-heavyweight Joe Ward ending a long wait for his first bout against Ukraine’s world Oleksandr Kyyzhniak, while lightweight Seán McComb returns to the ring to face old foe Albert Selimov of Azerbaijan who defeated the Belfast Boy in their European Games semi-final clash last June.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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