Ireland recorded 11 victories on Day 1 of their Elite International Round Robin with France, Germany, Italy and Russia at Dublin’s National Stadium on Friday night.
Paulstown native Darren O’Neill almost did the business against current Olympic champion Evgeny Tischenko, but the towering Russian heavy got the nod on a 3-2 split after a see-saw three rounds.
With an eye firmly on June’s European championships, O’Neill was still optimistic in defeat.
“It didn’t bother me that’s he’s the Olympic champion. I thought I nicked it,” said O’Neill after his bout.
“The important thing is that I get the rounds under my belt ahead of the Europeans.”
O’Neill has beaten Tischenko in the past, but the Russian heavyweight decisioned the Kilkenny southpaw at the 2015 Europeans to level the scoring at 1-1 going into Friday night’s meeting, their third, at the National Stadium.
Turning to Facebook later on Friday evening, O’Neill added
“Didn’t get the nod tonight. Thought nicked 1st and last round, losing 2nd but such is life. Great prep for Europeans and losing 3-2 against the 6ft5 European, World & Olympic champion isn’t a bad result 😂 Back in action tomorrow”.