IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill
JOHN Joe Nevin turned on the style to move to within one win of qualifying for his second Olympic Games in-a-row at the the AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan today.
But Irish team captain Ken Egan bowed out after he was retired in the third round of his heavyweight clash with Cuba’s Jose Gomez-Larduet.
Nevin, a bronze medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships, beat India’s two-time Olympian Akhil Kumar 21-14.
The 22-year-old Cavan bantamweight, who was the youngest member of the Irish 2008 Olympic squad, will now face Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu of Mongolia today just three,
three minute rounds away from booking his second Olympic ticket in four years.
Meanwhile, Ken Egan was retired 1 minute and 20 seconds into the third after taking a standing count versus Cuba’s Jose Gomez-Larduet in the heavyweight class.
The Cuban was very generously adjudged to have been 23-11 up going into the third. Two ringside observers believed that Egan, who has moved up to heavyweight this year,
had produced a fine second frame and was giving as good as he got.
Earlier today, David Oliver Joyce turned in big second and third rounds to advance to the last-16.
The St Michael’s Athy lightweight shared the first frame 5-5 with Mohammad Khaiber of Afghanistan but pulled away in the second to register a convincing 26-13 win.
The 2009 European Union champion will now face Asian Games silver-medalist Jai Bhagwan of India tomorrow one win away from qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Darren O’Neill is also just one win away from qualifying for the Olympics following an edge-of-the-seat 15-13 win over Egypt’s Mohamad Hikal earlier this afternoon.
The hieroglyphics appeared to be on the wall for the Egyptian middleweight after O’Neill took a 4-2 first round lead, but Hikal reduced the deficit to 8-7 by the end of the second.
Both boxers received public warnings in the third, Hikal for dropping his head, O’Neill for pushing.
O’Neill will now meet Mladen Manev of Bulgaria in the last-16 tomorrow with a place at the London Olympics up for grabs. The Kilkenny southpaw beat Manev 6-0 at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow.
Paddy Barnes dropped out of the Championships following a surprise 20-12 defeat to Mark Barriga of the Philippines this morning.
The Belfast light-flyweight, the 2010 European champion, was favourite to advance to the last-16 of the competition, but Barriga claimed the first round 6-4 en route to an eight point margin of victory.
Joe Ward, Michael Conlan, Roy Sheehan, Joyce, Nevin and O’Neill will all be boxing for a place in the quarter-finals and automatic qualification for the London Olympics tomorrow.
Con Sheehan will also be in action in the last-16. However, super-heavyweight must reach the semi-finals to guarantee qualification for London.