The first batch of athletes qualified for Rio 2016 from the final qualifier in Vargas, Venezuela last night.
Armenia’s Havhannes Bachrov, who beat Ireland’s Ray Moylette in the quarter-finals earlier this week, scored a comprehensive 30-26 win on all cards versus Volodymyr Matviichuk of the Ukraine last evening to make the light-welter final and guarantee himself a Rio ticket.
He’ll meet Qatar’s Thulasi Tharumalingan,who was born in Germany, for gold. The top three qualify at light-welter with the losing semi-finalists boxing off for third place.
Hassan N’Jikam of the Cameroon, the former WBO World middleweight champion and 2004 Olympian, is through to his second Olympics after winning his light-heavyweight semi-final.
Pro boxers, following an historic change to AIBA Statutes after an landslide Congress vote from National Federations, including Ireland, in favour of those changes in June, are eligible for the Olympics for the first time in the history of the sport.
Twenty six Olympic places will have been claimed after the dust settles in Vargas this weekend. Latin America brings the curtain down on the entire competitive qualification process for the 31st Olympiad.
The final five places (invitations for men) are expected to be distributed via the Tripartite Commission early next week. The three invitation places for women have already been awarded.
286 boxers – 250 males and 36 females – compete at each Olympics. Ireland has taken eight of those places, an Irish record since the qualification system was introduced for Barcelona 1992.
Boxing begins on August 6th in Rio
World Series of Boxing v AIBA Pro Boxing Qualifier Vargas, Venezuela July 3/9
Total Olympic places: 26
Tripartite Commission (Invitation places)
Total Olympics places: 8 (5 for men and 3 for women)
Irish boxers qualified
60kg (Lightweight) – Katie Taylor (Bray)
49kg (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg (Flyweight) – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg (Bantamweight) – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy & AIBA Pro Boxing)
69kg (Welterweight) – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg (Middleweight) – Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
81kg (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate & AIBA Pro Boxing)