Four Irish boxers are in action at the 43-nation European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 at the Copperbox Box Arena in London today.
George Bates, Emmett Brennan, and Kiril Afanasev are betwen the ropes.
The Dublin trio meet Leon Domingue of Spain, Bosnia’s Radenko Tomic and Georgia’s Begadaze Nikoloz for places in the last 16.
Cork southpaw Desmond faces Italy’s No. 3 seed Angela Carina two wins away from booking a welterweight ticket at the 32nd Olympiad.
The Desmond versus Carina three-rounder was scheduled for Tuesday but has been brought forward.
The qualifiers got underway yesterday but no Irish were involved.
Saturday’s program produced the biggest shock of the day after Belgian lightweight Delfine Persoon lost.
The Flanders police officer, the former WBC World pro champion who dropped a majority decision to Katie Taylor in a WBC/WBO/IBF/WBA unifier at Madison Square Garden last summer, was on the wrong end of a split decision to unheralded Greek lightweight Nikoleta Pita.
Persoon had won 44 of her 46 pro fights before Saturday’s exit. Click here for IABA report.
Meanwhile, Kellie Harrington is in against Poland’s Aneta Rygielska on St Patrick’s Day for a place in the last eight. Rygielska decisioned Romania’s Paula Cosmo last night.
Boxing begins at 12 noon today. A second session starts at 6pm.
European Qualifiers for Tokyo 2020
Copperbox Arena London March 13/24
63kg George Bates (Ireland) v Leon Dominguez (Spain)
81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) v Radenko Tomic (Bosnia)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) v Begadze Nikoloz (Georgia)
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Angela Carina (Italy)
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) v Pavel Kamanin (Spain)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Pas der Van (Netherlands)
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Istavan Szaka (Hungary)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) v Charley Davison (Team Great Britain)
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Hamsat Shadolov (Germany)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Melissa Morensen (Denmark) or Mona Mestian (France)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoriya Kebikava (Belarus)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Petar Belberov (Bulgaria)
(Olympic qualification standard in brackets)
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s, Antrim) Cpt (Top 8)
57kg Kurt Walker (Canal, Antrim) (Top 8)
63kg George Bates (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 8)
69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise, Laois) (Top 6)
81kg Emmett Brennan (Dublin Docklands) (Top 6)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield, Dublin) (Top 4)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel, Tipperary) (Top 4)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road, Belfast) (Top 6)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 6)
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s, Cork, Garda BC) (Top 5)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea, Roscommon) (Top 4)
High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk