Seán McComb is through to the last 16 of the World Boxing Championships after a 2-1 points win over Lindolfo Delgado Garca of Mexico in Doha.
It was a more disappointing day for Adam Nolan who was beaten by European champion Eimantas Stanionis of Lithuania on a split decision.
Nolan, the victim of an unkind draw, gave a fine account of himself but was just edged out by the more experienced Lithuanian.
Wexford welterweight Nolan was taking on European champion Eimantas Stanionis of Lithuania, and came out the wrong side of a 2-1 points loss (29-28, 27-30, 28-29) with a Danish and Turkish judge going against the Irishman in a controversial call.
Nolan started the bout slowly, but came on strong in the second half of the first round, boxing at distance with Stanionis constantly in pursuit.
The Bray-based garda appeared to land the cleaner blows, but the judges opted to award Stanionis’ aggression despite the fact that he landed few punches of note other than a heavy left hook less than a minute in.
Two of the judges evened it up after the second as Nolan’s patient approach was noted but the Lithuanian claimed the last round to win in sluggish fashion.
“I thought the last round was messy, even though I probably finished strong,” said Nolan. “I wasn’t really happy with my last round, but the first two rounds – Billy [Walsh] only told me after the fight I lost it – I couldn’t understand how because he only hit me with one or two shots.
"I was at my best in the first round so I’m a bit bemused not to win it.
“In the end it was probably the right decision but it was very close. I’d be disappointed with whatever the judges were looking at in the first two rounds,” added the Wexford man.
Head coach Walsh was shocked by the decision.
“I couldn’t believe it. How did we not win that? I don’t know what they were looking at to be honest with you"
“I couldn’t believe it. How did we not win that? I don’t know what they were looking at to be honest with you,” said Walsh.
“To me, he won the first round clearly and then I thought he did enough in the second and third – I thought he won the three rounds.”
On a brighter note for Team Ireland, McComb is through to the last 16 after a 2-1 points win over Lindolfo Delgado Garca of Mexico in Doha.
Earlier in the day McComb claimed an impressive win and was comfortable throughout his opening bout, using his height and reach advantages to good effect, although the judges surprisingly scored the second round to Garca.
The 23-year-old Belfast native boxed at range, connecting with a piston-like left hand throughout the first, but his opponent reminded him of the challenge at hand when connecting with a heavy left of his own with a minute to go in the opener.
McComb capped a tentative second round with a sharp, short, left hand, but somehow the judges awarded it to Garca, who fought in a slightly more counter-attacking fashion than a typical combative Mexican style.
Garca was more aggressive in the last, but McComb landed the better quality punches to pick up a 29-28 win on all three cards.
“I’m very happy. My coaches got the tactics right,” said the Holy Trinity southpaw after his victory. “I said before that if I listen to them and get the tactics right that I’d win.”
McComb's win sets up a Friday-night rematch with No 3 seed Albert Selimov of Azerbaijan, who defeated the Belfast native in a tight European Games semi-final last June.
Irish in action on Thursday evening
49kg Brendan Irvine v Muhammet Unlu (Turkey)
56kg Michael Conlan v Robenilson de Jesus (Brazil)
75kg Michael O’Reilly v Daniel Lewis (Australia)