IABA Press Officers Bernard O’Neill
Ireland will have at least two boxers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Darren O’Neill and John Joe Nevin qualified for the 30th Olympiad by virtue of reaching thequarter-finals at the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan today.
Twenty-two-year-old Nevin, who was the youngest member of the Irish 2008 Olympic squad, booked his ticket for London after earning a count back decision over Mongolian bantamweight Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu following an 18-18 tie.
Nevin, who took standing counts in the first and second rounds, was trailing by two points going into the third but fought back magnificently to level the contest at 18-18 before having his hand raised in triumph on accepted scores.
He’ll now face Orzubek Shayimov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals tomorrow, two years after he claimed bronze at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan.
Round scoring: R1, 4-4. R2, 7-9. R3, 7-5 (18-18)
(No count back scores are available at this time).
O’Neill qualified for London with a well deserved 19-12 victory over Mladen Manev of Bulgaria.
The Kilkenny southpaw, who beat Manev 6-0 en route to silver at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow, will meet Ryota Murata of Japan in the quarter-finals tomorrow.
O’Neill is the second Irish middleweight to qualify for the Olympic Games in-a-row. The late Darren Sutherland represented Ireland at the 2008 Games in Beijing where he won a bronze medal in the middleweight class.
Round scoring. R1 6-4. R2 7-5. R3 6-3 (19-12)
Earlier today, Joe Ward agonisingly lost out on a place at the Olympics after being edged out on a countback versus Ehsan Rouzbahani of Iran.
The current European light-heavyweight champion and Rouzbahani were tied at 15-15 at the end of the three rounds but the Iranian got the nod on accepted scores.
Both boxers received public warnings for holding in the second and third rounds by Uzbekistani referee Dahodir Jumaniyazov. The first frame ended level at 4-4 but Rouzbahini was 12-8 up going into the third.
Ward won the third 7-3 to tie the bout at 15-15, but Rouzbahini was handed a ticket for the 2012 London Games on a count back.
Round scoring: R1, 4-4. R2, 8-4. R3, 3-7 (15-15)
(No count back score are available at this time).
“I’m really, really disappointed. I just can’t believe that I’ve been beaten. Four of the judges had me winning (in the last round) and one judge had me losing and I lost on a count back. It’s devastating, said Ward.
“I wasn’t stepping back as usual, counter punching. I don’t know what really happened, what came over me at that time.
“That definitely destroyed the fight, added Ward in relation to his public warning. “I didn’t deserve it. He was doing most of the holding and pulling.”
Michael Conlon, Roy Sheehan, David Oliver Joyce and Con Sheehan will be in action later in the evening session in Baku. The evening session in Baku begins at 3pm Irish time.
2011 AIBA World Men’s Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
52Kg: (last 64) Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Alexandr Riscan (Moldova) 25-12
69Kg: (last 64) Roy Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy) beat Carl Hield (Bahamas) 15-10