RAY Moylette and Joe Ward after both won European Elite titles in 2011

Ray Moylette and Joe Ward after both won European Elite titles in 2011


Ray Moylette and team arrived in Vargas, Venezuela last night ahead of the last throw of the Rio dice for Irish and international boxing.

The Mayo light-welter will compete in the final Olympic qualifier for August’s Olympics in Vargas.

The weigh-in and draw will be held on Saturday. Boxing begins on Sunday at 3pm local time.

The tournament is billed as an AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) versus World Series of Boxing (WSB) clash.

However, it is also, historically, open to pro boxers.The door to the Olympics was opened to pro boxers following the recent change in the AIBA statutes, as ratified at its Extraordinary Congress on 1 June, allowing all professional boxers to participate in all competitions, including the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

AIBA today announced a partnership with IMG, the global leader in sports, media and events, for the sale and distribution of worldwide broadcast rights of the Venezuelan qualifiers.

Bouts will be contested over three, three minute rounds in Vargas. Ex AIBA World Youth champion Moylette will book a Rio ticket if he finishes in the top three in the 64kg class. The finalists qualify automatically and the beaten semi-finalist box-off for the third place.

So far, Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Brendan Irvine, Michael Conlan, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Donnelly, Michael O’Reilly and Joe Ward have qualified for Rio.

Irish coach Eddie Bolger and Martin Brennan, Moylette’s club coach at the St Anne’s BC, will be working Ireland’s corner in Vargas.

Twenty six Olympic places are up for grabs at the end of the line for a qualification process which began in 2014.

“It’s the last qualifier and it will be tough, but it’s an exciting opportunity for Ray with good potential,” said Bolger.