Brendan Irvine unable to book Olympic spot but has further chance on Saturday

Brendan Irvine won a silver medal in the 2015 European Games
Brendan Irvine forced Narek Abgaryan to take a late standing count but the Armenian had already done enough to win

Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine missed out on Olympic qualification as he was beaten in Turkey on Friday although he will have another chance to book his spot in Rio on Saturday.

Irvine, 19, was beaten by Armenia's Narek Abgaryan in the semi-finals of the European Olympic qualifying event.

However with three Rio spots available, Irvine has another chance on Saturday.

Irish lightweight David Oliver Joyce lost a tight verdict against Britain's Joe Cordina in his semi-final.

Irvine forced Abgaryan to take a late standing count in the closing seconds of their flyweight semi-final but the Armenian took a deserved unanimous verdict in Samsun.

The Belfast man, a silver medallist at last year's inaugural European Games, will secure a Rio berth if he defeats Bulgaria's Daniel Asenov in a box-off on Saturday.

Asenov was outpointed by Britain's Muhammad Ali in Friday's other flyweight semi-final.

St Paul's club-man Irvine produced a clever left-right combination early on but the busy Armenian hit back with a number of decent shots to taken the first round on all three judges' cards.

David Oliver Joyce felt he had done enough to beat Britain's Joe Cordina
David Oliver Joyce will box-off for a Rio spot on Saturday after a controversial defeat by Britain's Joe Cordina on Friday

Abgaryan dominated the second session with one big right hand, in particular, rocking back Irvine on his heels.

Trailing 20-18 on all three cards heading into the final round, Irvine bravely attempted to turn around the contest but the Armenian stayed out of range for the most part.

Abgaryan appeared to think that the bell had already sounded as he dropped his hands with 10 seconds remaining, as a barrage of Irvine blows led to a standing count for the Armenian.

But Abgaryan had already done enough to get the verdict.

Irish lightweight Joyce looked decidedly unhappy after the three judges all gave Britain's Cordina a 29-28 verdict in their semi-final.

Cordina did look to have shaded the first round but Joyce appeared to have conclusively won the second session, only for two of the judges to give the Britain a 10-9 verdict.

That left the European champion in control of the bout heading into the final round and although Joyce was given the last session by two of the judges, the Irishman was never going to be able to peg back the deficit.

To increase Joyce's sense of grievance, the judge that had scored the fight level after two rounds gave the final session to the Welshman which meant a unanimous verdict.

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