Thursday 27 October 2016

Explained: How the remaining seven Olympic hopefuls can box their way to Rio

Bernard O'Neill

Published 28/04/2016 | 10:25

Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor

The world’s top male and female boxers, including Ireland’s Katie Taylor, are gearing up for three final tilts at qualifying for Rio 2016

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The journey that began early in 2015 with 286 places up for grabs – in reality that’s 272 places as the host nation takes six berths and eight are handed out in invitations – has three qualifiers remaining in May, June and July.

The first of these will be next month at the 9th AIBA World Women’s Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, followed by a final world qualifier (for men) in Baku, Azerbaijan in June and a World Series of Boxing (WSB) versus AIBA Pro Boxing (AIBA) tournament in late June or early July at a host city to be confirmed.

201 athletes are over the line so far, with some, including Ireland’s Michael Conlan, actually qualifying twice. Conlan initially booked a ticket through the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and then made the qualification standard again at the World Men’s Championships in Doha, Qatar last year after becoming the first Irish male boxer to claim an AIBA World Elite title. The World place prevailed and the WSB spot earned by Conlan kicked back to the next best placed WSB boxer.

Conlan, Paddy Barnes, who will lead out Team Ireland in Rio, Brendan Irvine, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward will represent Irish boxing at the 31st Olympiad.

Team Ireland will be aiming for seven further places in the remaining qualifiers in the women’s flyweight (Ceire Smith), lightweight (Katie Taylor) and middleweight (Christina Desmond) classes and the men’s light- welterweight (Dean Walsh), middleweight (Michael O'Reilly), heavyweight (Darren O'Neill) and super-heavyweight (Dean Gardiner) classes, however those boxers are subject to change based on the final squad selection.

The WSB versus APB clash represents the journey’s end as 278 will have qualified, with the final eight places to be handed out in invitations.

However, if Irish boxing qualifies a light-welterweight in Baku, the WSB versus APB tournament will be of academic interest to the sport in this country.

77 places are up for grabs in the three remaining qualifiers. 286 boxers – 250 men and 36 women – compete at each Olympics.


Remaining qualifiers


World Women’s Elite Championships May 19/17 Astana, Kazakhstan


Total Olympic Places: 12

51kg (Flyweight) 4

60kg (Lightweight) 4

75kg (Middleweight) 4


World Tournament (for men) June 14/28 Baku, Azerbaijan


Total Olympic Places: 39

Light-fly: 2

Fly: 5

Bantam: 5

Lightweight: 5

Light-welter: 5

Welter: 5

Middle: 5

Light-heavy: 5

Heavy: 1

Super-heavy: 1


World Series of Boxing v AIBA Pro Boxing (dates and host city to be decided for June or July)


Total Olympic places: 26

Light-fly: 3

Fly: 3

Bantam: 3

Lightweight: 3

Light-welter: 3

Welter: 3

Middle: 3

Light-heavy: 3

Heavy: 1

Super-heavy: 1


Tripartite Commission (Invitation places)


Total Olympics places: 8 (5 for men and 3 for women)

Irish boxers qualified


51kg (Flyweight) –

60kg (Lightweight –

75kg (Middleweight) –



49kg (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)

52kg (Flyweight) – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)

56kg (Bantamweight) – Michael Conlan (Clonard)

60kg (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy & AIBA Pro Boxing)

64kg (Light-welterweight) –

69kg (Welterweight) – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)

75kg (Middleweight) –

81kg (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate & AIBA Pro Boxing)

91kg (Heavyweight) –

91+kg (Super-heavyweight) –


Boxers qualified per nation

11 – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.

10 – China, Cuba,

9 – Britain, Morocco, Russia,

8 – Azerbaijan,

7 – Algeria, Brazil (five hosts places)

6 – France, Ireland, United States,

5 – Argentina, Italy, Turkey,

4 – Armenia, Cameroon, Egypt, Mongolia, Venezuela.

3 – Australia, Canada, Germany Colombia, Mexico, Thailand

2 – Croatia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda,

1 – Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Holland, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Nigeria, Cape Verde Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Seychelles, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, Virgin Islands.

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