Belfast’s Sean McComb bowed out at the quarter-finals stage of the World Championships in Doha on a split decision against Azerbaijan’s Albert Selimov.
Selimov earned a 29-28,29-28, 27-30 verdict, with one judge giving McComb all three rounds of the battle of the southpaws.
Selimov, who has qualified for Rio 2016 through the World Series of Boxing, edged, according to two judges, the first and second rounds of an extremely cagey and tactical contest.
Speaking after the fight, Irish head coach Billy Walsh said that they felt that McComb had done enough to win the three-rounder and that Selimov’s reputation was a factor.
“It was very, very close. If we got it, I don’t think anyone would have complained,” said Walsh. “One of the judges gave us the three rounds and the other two gave it two rounds to one for Selimov.”
And Joe Ward beat Oleksandr Kyyzhniak of the Ukraine on a unanimous decision – 29-28 across the board.
On Saturday Ward, Michael Conlan, Brendan Irvine and Michael O’Reilly will be in action.