It’s medal time in Doha at the 18th AIBA World Amateur Boxing Championships and four Irishmen have made it to the quarter finals knowing that a win today will guarantee them at least a bronze.
First up in the afternoon session is Brendan Irvine. The Belfast flight flyweight faces Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos at 1:00pm Irish time. A battle of the teenagers, at 18 the Cuban number 3 seed is younger than the 19 year old Wee Rooster. Irvine holds a win over the Caribbean fighter and is a tempting slight outsider ahead of the bout today at 5/4, with Argilagos being priced at 4/7.
Next in the ring, at 1:30pm Irish time, is captain Mick Conlan. The Belfast bantamweight takes on Azerbaijan’s Tayfur Aliyev. The Eastern European fighter is just 18 and fighting in just his 2nd major international tournament agter winning bronze at the European Games. Conlan is 4/9 favourite going into the bout and we think that this is a good price for the gold medal chaser. The Azeri youngster is 13/8.
At 2:45pm Irish time it is the turn of slick middleweight Michael O’Reilly. The Portlaoise man has blazed through his competition so far but faces a tough, 50:50 test today in Doha against the Kazakh number 2 seed Zhanibek Alimkhanuly – the reigning world champion. The man who defeated Jason Quigley in the last championships is actually a 5/4 outsider for today’s fight. O’Reilly’s odds, after being too long the whole tournament, are today too short at 8/13.
*Highly unconfirmed – but it is our understanding that O’Reilly will secured Olympic qualification if he wins today and the Cuban middleweight Arlen Lopez beats Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado.
Finally the lone Irishman in the evening session time is Big Joe Ward at 6:45pm Irish time. The Westmeath light heavy faces Mikhail Dauhaliavets of Belarus. Ward, chasing his second World championships medal, has already beaten the Eastern European this year at the quarter finals of the European Championships and will be hoping for a similar result today. Ward is a big (1/6) favourite today and a handy little accumulator filler.