BY CHRIS MCNULTY
IRISH boxing chiefs were seeting after St Johnston boxer Brett McGinty was the victim of a particularly harsh verdict in Monday’s European Junior Championship bout against Mladam Sobjeslavski.
Despite McGinty, who turns out for the Oakleaf ABC in Derry, being on top for most of the bout, the 16-year-old, his corner and supporters watching at home were left wide-eyed and open-mouthed when the referee raised the hand of the Croatian, Sobjeslavski.
Worse still came later in the afternoon when the scorecards showed a 3-0 win for the Croatian.
“We’re very disappointed with that decision. We thought that Brett did more than enough,” said Billy McClean, who is working Ireland’s corner with Ger McDaid in Anapa.
His public utterances were rather more measured than in private, where the Irish team were said to have been ‘livid’ at the decision.
McGinty staggered the Croatian into a neutral corner in the second and appeared to have had the contest comfortably sealed by the close of that stanza.
McGinty, by some distance, landed the majority of the cleaner punches and although the 2012 European Schoolboys bronze medalist looked to be in command the ringside judges decreed otherwise and his Championship was over.
“After coming back to the corner, the lads said: ‘Well done, you boxed very well’,” McGinty said. “ To not get the decision was the most heartbreaking moment I’ve had in boxing. It was very hard to take. I thought I deserved it and thought I done enough – but I’ll come again.”
Back at home, the Oakleaf ABC voiced its frustrations. “We’re absolutely gutted for our boxer who put in so much hard word and dedication,” they said. It was the second time this year that McGinty had been on the wrong end of a controversial score with Christopher O’Reilly’s win in the Irish Youth 1 final leaving the Oakleaf corner fuming.
McGinty won the cadet title during the summer to book his place in Russia. Last Saturday, he got off to the best possible start with a preliminary round win over Hungarian Laszio Kozak. He fired a unanimous decision win over Kozak, McGinty taking the 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 verdict of the ringside judges.
With Kozak on the back foot throughout, McGinty stepped up the charge. In the second round, McGinty appeared as if he mightn’t even need the distance of the three rounds.
Two cracking left uppercuts stunned Kozak and when McGinty drilled a power-packed left hook to the temple of the Magyar, Kozak looked in trouble. McGinty had the bit between his teeth and, while Kozak shook his head clear to continue, McGinty’s dominance was confirmed with a sharp right-left belt to send the Hungarian packing.
Three Irish boxers – Aaron McKenna, Kieran Molloy and Michael Nevin – will be in semi-final action on Friday.
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