Ireland’s Paddy Barnes and Darren O’Neill exited the Usti nad Labem Grand Prix at the quarter-final stage to Kazakhstan’s Iiyas Sulimenov and Adilbek Niyazymbetov respectively in the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 30th Olympiad, was level going into the third round against Sulimenov, but the Belfast light-fly, who had moved up to flyweight for the tournament, had to retire after picking up a nose injury.
O’Neill, who had moved up to light-heavyweight from middleweight for the 44th edition of the Grand Prix, produced a fine performance but was beaten by a three-point margin (8-5) by Niyazymbetov, who claimed silver at the 2012 London Games.
Current Irish Elite champion Sean McComb and Ross Hickey recorded their second wins in 24 hours to reach the semi-finals and guarantee themselves at least bronze.
However, Hickey can go no further as he injured his left forearm in the second round of his 15-8 win over Austrian light-welterweight Khamsad Musaev and is out of Friday’s semi-final with Mongolia’s Zorigtbaatar Enkhzorig.
Belfast lightweight McComb convincingly beat Lithuania’s Gytis Vaitkus 10-5 earlier in the evening.
McComb, Jason Quigley and Tommy McCarthy will be involved in semi-final bouts today and all three are guaranteed at least bronze.