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Dylan Eagleson suffers European final defeat as French opponent Billal Bennama claims unanimous decision

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Dylan Eagleson in action at the European Championships (Hrach Khachatryan/Sportsfile)

Dylan Eagleson in action at the European Championships (Hrach Khachatryan/Sportsfile)

SPORTSFILE

Dylan Eagleson in action at the European Championships (Hrach Khachatryan/Sportsfile)

There was no gold medal joy for 19-year-old Dylan Eagleson in the European Championship bantamweight final in Yerevan, Armenia.

Eagleson takes home a silver medal after losing on a unanimous 5-0 decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28) to an experienced French opponent, Billal Bennama, in the final.

Still, it was an incredible achievement for Eagleson to reach the final in his first major championship at elite level. He previously medalled at the European U-22 championships earlier this year.

His father Phil Sutcliffe and his sibling Philip won bronze medals at European level; Phil won the first of his two bronze medals as a 17-year-old.

In the final, Eagleson was soundly beaten by the French fighter. Dylan’s body language between the rounds betrayed his frustration as Bennama was able to avoid his shots while scoring with his own.

Despite the loss, it has been a breakthrough championship for Eagleson who is now guaranteed Sport Ireland funding, though his bantamweight division is not included in the provisional programme for the Paris Olympics.

He lives in Bangor and boxes out of the St Paul’s club in Belfast.

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