Boxing: Irish trio one fight from the Olympics
Roy Sheehan joined Con Sheehan, Joe Ward and Michael Conlan in the last 16 of the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers after he defeated Borna Katalinic in Baku, Azerbaijan, yesterday.
The St Michael's Athy welterweight, who beat Katalinic in the 2005 AIBA World Championships in China, earned a 21-17 decision over the Croatian to set up a last-16 clash with Lithuania's Egidijus Kavaliauskas tomorrow.
If Roy Sheehan, Ward and Conlan win their next bouts they will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
But Con Sheehan must reach the semi-finals, as heavyweights and super-heavyweight must achieve a last-four finish at least to guarantee a ticket to the Games.
Shortly before Roy Sheehan entered the ring, Con Sheehan recorded Ireland's second win in a row over Tajikistan.
The Tipperary super-heavyweight had his hand raised in victory after the referee stopped his last-32 contest with Faruth Kalonov of Tajikistan after Kalanov took his second standing count in the second round.
Sheehan was leading 24-4 when the the third man in the ring intervened to stop the fight.
He will now meet Italy's 2008 Olympic gold medalist and two- time AIBA World Champion Roberto Cammarelle in a quarter-final contest.
Cammarelle beat Jose Payares of Venezuela 17-8 yesterday.
However, the Italian, a gold medal winner at the 2007 EU Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin, had to get off the canvas before he was able to finally celebrate victory after he was dropped by the Venezuelan in the third round.
Ward, meanwhile, cruised into the last 16 with a convincing win. The 17-year-old European light-heavyweight champion beat Dilovarsho Abdurakhmanov of Tajikistan 22-4 and will now meet Ehsan Rouzbahani of Iran on Tuesday for a place at the 2012 Olympics.
Abdurakhmanov, who received a public warning for a low blow in the second frame, was 3-1 and 13-3 down at the end of rounds one and two against Ward, who boxes out of Moate BC in Co Westmeath.
Ray Moylette bowed out of the championships following a 19-7 defeat to Manoj Kumar of India earlier yesterday.
Kumar, the 2010 Commonwealth champion, was 5-3 up at the end of the first and stretched that lead to 12-4 by the end of the second against Ireland's current European light- welterweight champion.
Michael Conlan claimed his second win at the Championships after posting an 18-17 decision over Olzhas Sattibayev of Kazakhstan.
The Belfast flyweight will now meet number two seed Nordine Oubaali of France in the last 16 on Tuesday for an Olympic place.
Conlan was 7-4 and 13-11 ahead at the end of rounds one and two.
Details in Factfile