The APB draw was made at the AIBA Boxing Academy in the Talgar region outside Almaty in Kazakhstan this morning (Irish time). Joyce and Ward, the only two Irish boxers signed to APB, have been in Kazakhstan since last Saturday attending an APB workshop.
The workshop was divided into several modules and covered various aspects of APB, from the competition rules and system to commercial and media matters.
Neither Joyce and Abdrakhmanov or Ward and Ivanov will need any introduction.
Joyce beat the Kazakh, the current Asian champion and a 2013 World Elite bronze medalist, in the Chemistry Cup final in Germany in May and Ward beat Ivanov in the 2011 European Elite final and in the AIBA World Elite Championships last year.
APB is a Pro Boxing competition based on individual rankings and introduced by AIBA to showcase the best features of Pro Boxing. The pre-ranking phase, which will run through to January 31 2015, will identify authentic champions in each weight category.
There are a total of 20 quota places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on offer to boxers who compete in the APB. The champion and challenger from each category in each of the APB World Champion Titles matches, i.e. the top two ranked boxers, will in turn achieve qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Joyce and Ward will make their APB debuts over six rounds against their respective opponents. Irish head coach Billy Walsh, Zuara Antia and Eddie Bolger will be working their corners.