Brett McGinty is left fuming after controversial World Youths exit
ANOTHER major international competition, another shocking decision that derails the dream of one of Ireland’s main medal hopes.
It’s the same old story, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Brett McGinty to digest. Just three months after Michael Conlan’s amateur career ended in a blaze of swear words and middle fingers following his controversial Olympic exit, McGinty suffered a similar fate last Sunday when he bowed out of the World Youth Championships.
Up against Slovakia’s European Youth bronze medallist Andrej Csemez, a tight first round was followed by an improved McGinty performance in the second.
When the Derry welterweight dominated the third, landing some huge shots, he went back to the corner at the bell convinced he had secured his place in the last-16.
The judges didn’t see it that way, giving Csemez the nod 3-2, with one inexplicably awarding the Slovakian the final round 10-8. McGinty could only shake his head in disbelief.
Speaking from his hotel room in St Petersburg on Monday, the 17-year-old said: “It’s very frustrating. You’re training nine or 10 weeks for this, you bust your balls day in, day out and then this happens.
“As soon as the final bell went, I just thought ‘that’s me, I’m into the next round here’. John [Conlan] walked up the steps and said he thought the last round had won it for me. You go into the centre of the ring hoping for your hand to be raised, but unfortunately it wasn’t…”
And as for the 10-8 scorecard in the last, McGinty is convinced human error played a part: “Jesus, the third round I was in complete control, catching him with some big shots and then one judge gave it 10-8 against me?
“Like honestly, I do genuinely believe he made a mistake and meant to hit 10-8 to me because three other judges gave me the round. Surely they have to find a way to justify that? Three judges give me a round and one goes the other way, not just 10-9 but 10-8? It doesn’t make any sense.
“They don’t realise when they press that button. They just see us fighting in the ring, they don’t see what goes on before, all the hard work. It’s not good enough.”
The World Youths was supposed to be the start of a big six months for McGinty, who steps up to senior level next year and was slated to enter his first Ulster and Irish Elite Championships in January/February.
After what unfolded in Russia on Sunday though, the Oakleaf puncher says he “doesn’t even want to think about boxing”: “To be honest, I couldn’t even look at a boxing glove or even think about boxing at the minute.
“The worrying thing about it is that I’ve no doubt it’s going to happen again - no doubt whatsoever. It’ll probably happen at some stage today to somebody else from a different country.
“The judges have been alright from what I’ve seen throughout the competition, but there’s always the odd one. It was me on Sunday, it could be somebody else today, somebody else tomorrow.
“Like, when I woke up this morning, I was just lying in bed saying to myself all that hard work was for nothing - absolutely nothing.”
IN THE week that Katie Taylor prepares to make her professional debut, Christina Desmond showed there is still plenty of talent left in Irish women’s boxing by guaranteeing at least bronze at the European Elite Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Cork middleweight faces France’s Maily Nicar in the Bulgarian capital on Tuesday, after seeing off Russia’s Oksana Trofimova last Sunday to book her place in the last-four.
Southpaw Desmond, the last Irish boxer left in Sofia, earned a unanimous decision - one judge gave her a 10-8 round - after four two-minute rounds.
The Irish youth Olympian consistently found the target with solid combinations, and was full value for her victory. She becomes the third Irishwomen after Taylor (six gold) and Clare Grace (one bronze) to medal at this level.
It has been a couple of months to remember for Desmond, who won a bronze medal at the World University Championships in Thailand in October.
EIGHT Ulster fighters will be going for gold on Friday night in the finals of the national intermediate championships at Dublin’s National Stadium.
Pegasus lightweight Dylan Duffy faces the big-hitting Frankie Cleary, while All Saints’ Vinny Esler takes on Eugene McKeever in the light-welterweight final.
Light-heavyweight Ryan Donnelly (Two Castles) is up against Brian Kennedy (St Mary’s, Daingean), while Emerald super-heavy Damien Sullivan has Rathkeale’s Martin Keenan in his sights.
In the female competition, Canal’s Chloe Fleck and Carol Coughlan from Monkstown go toe-to-toe in an all-Ulster showdown at 48kg, while Ciara Dowling (Carrickmacross) takes on Saidhbh Greene (St Briget’s).
Clonard’s Nicole Moorehouse faces a difficult task as she goes in against World junior champion and youth Olympic silver medallist Ciara Ginty (Geesala) in the 64kg decider.
AN ANTRIM senior team returned from Greece without any victories, but gained valuable international experience at the Patras competition.
Head coach Fredo Meli reported that lightweight Conor Kerr (Glengormley) and Townland light-heavy Tom Kearney were unfortunate not to get the nod. Clonard super-heavy Pádraig Mooney, meanwhile, was in against a top class opponen,t but produced a sterling performance.
Next up for County Antrim boxing is a schoolboy showdown with Dublin at the Ringside Club on Sunday, December 4.
RIO Olympian Samuel Carmona returned to haunt Irish boxing once again when he stopped Irish Elite finalist TJ Waite inside a round during an international meeting in Albacete last Friday.
Carmona famously defeated Paddy Barnes in his last-ever fight as an amateur back in August and, fighting up at flyweight, looked impressive in victory over Waite.
Irish Elite champion Stephen McKenna also tasted defeat, losing a split decision to Jose Quiles at bantamweight, while Johan Orozco stopped Patrick Linehan in the second round of their light-welterweight contest.
Middleweight Joe Joyce had his hand raised at the end of his fight with Jose Luis Serrano, while Sean Dempsey impressed in his youth contest against Alberto Alcara, winning 3-0.