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Joy for Irish boxer Donnelly as he qualifies for Olympic quarter-finals

The 27-year-old got the better of Mongolian opponent Tuvshinbat Byamba in Rio.

Steven Donnelly celebrates Donnelly kisses his badge after the win. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRISH WELTERWEIGHT STEVEN Donnelly has progressed to the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics with a split decision victory over Tuvshinbat Byamba of Mongolia.

On a difficult week for Irish boxing, the 27-year-old progressed to the last-eight after a close contest and now stands just one bout away from a medal.

The Ballymena fighter, who defeated Algerian Zohir Kadache by unanimous decision on his debut in Rio, was up 10-9 10-9 9-10 after the opening exchanges this evening.

After a messy second round, his opponent had pulled level on two scorecards – 19-19, 19-19, 20-18 — but Donnelly edged out the win in final three minutes.

Steven Donnelly in action against Tuvshinbat Byambyn Donnelly lands a big hit on his opponent. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“Everything went to plan,” Donnelly told RTÉ afterwards. “It was a really tough fight, and I knew it would be.

I dug in until the very end and here I am — won my first two fights and I’m starting to feel good now.”

He faces Moroccan number one and world champion Mohammed Rabii in the next round.

Steven Donnelly

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Ben Blake

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