Belfast fighter Brendan Irvine secures Olympic Games spot

Irvine reflects on Olympic qualification

Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine booked his place at the Olympic Games thanks to a box-off victory in Turkey.

The 19-year-old lost his Olympic qualifiers semi-final but with three fighters going through to Rio he had another chance in the box-off.

Irvine was on the backfoot against Bulgarian Daniel Asenov in the first round but he won the second round.

There was split decision in the final round and Irvine won the contest on points.

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

The Belfast teenager forced Abgaryan to take a late standing count in the closing seconds of their flyweight fight but the Armenian took a deserved unanimous verdict in Samsun.

It will be a first Olympic appearance for Irvine, who was a silver medallist at last year's inaugural European Games.

Fellow Irish fighter David Oliver Joyce faces Turkey's Volkan Gokcek in the lightweight box-off on Sunday.

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