Going for Gold: Here is when the Irish boxers are in action in Doha this week
THREE of Ireland's seven-strong team at the World Boxing championships in Doha will be in action tomorrow.
Middleweight Michael O’Reilly, light fly Brendan Irvine and light welter Dean Walsh will all be making their debuts at this level.
On paper O’Reilly – whose club coach in Portlaoise BC Pat Ryan was elected the new President of the IABA at the weekend -faces the most difficult challenge as he has been drawn against a Ukrainian opponent Valerii Kharlamov.
Even though Ukrainian boxers picked up one silver and four bronze medals at the European Games in earlier this year in Baku they failed to medal at the subsequent European Championship in Bulgaria which suggests their stock has fallen.
Even though he wasn’t seeded O’Reilly is one of the form boxers in the middleweight division at the moment having captured a gold medal at the European Games as well as at a recent tournament in Warsaw.
Belfast native Brendan Irvine faces an opponent from the USA in the light flyweight division while Wexford’s Dean Walsh – a nephew of team coach Billy Walsh – takes on a Venezuelan light welterweight.
On Wednesday Belfast lightweight Sean McComb faces a Mexican opponent while welterweight Adam Nolan trades punches with Eimantas Stanionis from Lithuania in another last 32 bout.
Ireland’s two seeded boxers, Joe Ward and Michael Conlan, who were both current European champions, received byes into the last 16 – leaving them one win away from a medal fight.
Team captain Conlan – who is seeded at number 3 – faces either a Brazilian or Australian opponent in his last 16 bout on Thursday.
Light heavy weight Joe Ward – who is the fourth seed in the category – faces a potential more difficult last 16 contest on Friday against either Oleksandr Khyzhniak (Ukraine) who won a bronze medal at the European Games or an Algerian boxer.