Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rio '16: Six boxers now qualified; seven more possible

Brendan Irvine and David Oliver Joyce  became the fifth and sixth boxers to qualify for the Rio Olympics - and there could be more with the Women’s World Championships  in Astana next month and a men's APB v WSB tournament on a date yet to be confirmed.
Joyce booked his place when he narrowly beat Turkey’s Volkan Gokcek in the third-place box-off  at the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey on Sunday April 17.
Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine had made his place certain when he won his third-place box off  against Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov a day earlier.
Katie Taylor  has still to make it after her five-year unbeaten run ended when she lost to Yana Alekseevna in Samsun. Italy’s Irma Testa  was second runner-up. She got back on track when she won the 3rd place box-off, beating Staneva.
Taylor will travel to Astana looking for an unprecedented sixth world title. A place in the semi-finals will guarantee her a place in Rio. Taylor had gone undefeated in 67 championship bouts before Samsun.
Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward have already qualified for Rio.
Seven more boxers could qualify in the remaining qualifiers - Women: Ceire Smith (flyweight), Katie Taylor (lightweight), Christina Desmond(middleweight). Men: Dean Walsh (light-welterweight) Michael O'Reilly( middlewight), Darren O'Neill (heavyweight), Dean Gardiner (heavyweight).

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