The Various Roads to RIO

BY IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill

The winding road toward Rio 2016 will take Irish boxing through Dublin, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan in the coming months.

The first big international test is in Almaty at the 9th AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers in January.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor will be aiming to become the first female boxer in the history of the sport to claim six consecutive AIBA World Elite gold medals in Central Asia between January 14/26.

The AIBA Open Boxing (AOB) – AOB is now the official acronym/term for amateur boxing – roadshow moves to the European qualifiers for men and women in Istanbul from April 20 to May 1.

World Series of Boxing (WSB) and AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) fighters are slated to battle in out in Sofia from May 13 to 22. Joe Ward and three-time EU champion David Oliver Joyce are Ireland’s APB men. Ward, who turns 22 this Friday, has already qualified for the Olympics.

(Ireland’s WSB representation in Sofia will be contingent on the number of Irish boxers signed in the upcoming WSB international draft).

There is one final world qualifier pencilled in for Baku in June ahead of the opening bell for the 31st Olympiad in Rio on August 5 next summer.

The Irish team for the Istanbul AOB qualifiers will be selected after the National Elite Men’s and Women’s Championships at Dublin’s National Stadium from November 13 to December 11.

The IABA are running the National Elites twice this year to facilitate our boxers heading into a crucial period for the sport which has secured seven of our eight medals in all sports from the last two Olympics.

So far, WSB champion Paddy Barnes, AIBA World Elite and European Elite champion Michael Conlan, and European Elite and World Elite silver medallist Joe Ward have qualified for Rio 2016.

Ten further places (female boxing is restricted to three weight classes) will be up for grabs for Ireland’s boxers in 2016.

 

 

2016 Olympic Weight Classes Men

Light-fly – 49kg (qualified, Paddy Barnes)
Fly – 52kg
Bantam – 56kg (qualified, Michael Conlan)
Light – 60kg
Light-welter – 64kg
Welter – 69kg
Middle – 75kg
Light-heavy – 81kg (qualified, Joe Ward)
Heavy – 91kg
S/Heavy – 91+kg

2016 Olympic Weight Classes Women
Fly – 51kg
Light – 60kg
Middle – 75kg

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