London 2012 Olympics: Barnes blasts AIBA in row over seedings
THE seeding system for boxers at the 2012 Olympics will be confirmed after the general weigh-in and draw at the ExCel venue in London on July 27.
A total of 286 male and female boxers will go into the hat on the day and boxing at the 30th Olympiad begins on the following day, July 28.
The World Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) released their world rankings for July on Tuesday. Belfast's Paddy Barnes, who was ranked sixth in June, is not included on the rankings table for July -- the last ranking update before London 2012.
Barnes, Katie Taylor, Michael Conlan, Adam Nolan, John Joe Nevin and Darren O'Neill make up Ireland's team for London.
Rankings are based on performances at the Olympics, World and Youth Championships, Continental Championships (European, Asian Championships etc) and Olympic qualifiers over a two-year rolling period.
Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, missed the July cut for rankings by one month as his gold medal at the European Championships in 2010 in Moscow was in June of that year.
An AIBA statement read: "Results from the European Championships in Moscow 2010 and the American Championships in Quito 2010 have been removed from the July issue of the Men's World Rankings."
Barnes, speaking at yesterday's Team Ireland 2012 Olympic launched in Dublin, said that he tweeted AIBA wanting to know why he's vanished from the rankings, which will mean he won't be seeded at the 2012 Games.
"I've gone from sixth in the world to being totally off the radar. It's a joke, because there have been no tournaments this year that you can get ranked from," he said. "After Trabzon (Olympic qualifiers), I moved up one place, but now I've gone from sixth to not being ranked at all.
"I hope it's a misprint. I tweeted the World Boxing Organisation (AIBA), but who am I? I'm nobody to them. They'll just brush me to the side and tell me to shut up. I could have to fight the World champion in the first fight. It's just making my job harder."
Barnes also believes that Ireland will be one of the teams to beat in London and that Michael Conlan can make a big impression. "He is one of the favourites for a gold medal in his weight category," he said.
Meanwhile, World No 1 Katie Taylor will be seeded in the women's lightweight class along with one other boxer, most likely Russia's Sofya Ochigava. It's understood that the top-six ranked male boxers will be seeded in London. Two-time world medalist John Joe Nevin is at No 4 in the bantamweight class.
The situation with Darren O'Neill is unclear. The middleweight dropped from third to seventh in the rankings. But two of the boxers above O'Neill haven't qualified for the Olympics, so the Irish southpaw could be bumped back up. Conlan is ranked ninth at flyweight. Adam Nolan is currently not ranked at welterweight.
Light-heavyweight Joe Ward, who was denied an Olympic wildcard entry, has improved one place to No 4.