Michael Conland and Paddy Barnes in Rio

Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes in Rio

The boxing draw for the 2016 Olympics will be made this Thursday, August 4, at 11am local time (3pm Irish time) in Barra, Rio.

286 boxers go into the hat. Male boxing is scheduled to begin on August 6 and female boxing on August 12.

The light-flyweights, lightweights and light-heavyweights are slated for Day 1 of the tournament on Saturday, but whether Paddy Barnes, David Oliver Joyce and Joe Ward are between the ropes is contingent on seeding.

Male seeding is determined by performances in AIBA Open Boxing (regular amateur boxing), the World Series of Boxing (WSB)  and AIBA Pro Boxing (APB).

Female athletes only compete in AIBA Open Boxing (AOB).

Three current (male) pro boxers have qualified for Rio, although a number of pro fighters who have returned under the AIBA umbrella through APB have also qualified.

Barnes will be appearing at his third Olympics in Rio and Katie Taylor, who departs for Rio today, and Michael Conlan their second. Brendan Irvine, David Oliver Joyce, Michael O’Reilly, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward will be making their debuts.

Barnes leads out Team Ireland at the Opening Ceremony at the Maracana Stadium on Friday.

The Belfast light-fly is the 7th Irish boxer since Matt Flanagan in 1932 to be selected as Irish flag bearer and the second successive boxer after Taylor at London 2012 to do the honours.

It’s anticipated that the opening ceremony will attract a worldwide TV audience of over 1 billion people.

“It’s an amazing feeling to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it twice before already,” said Barnes. a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medallist.

“I will be going for gold in Rio in the ring, but I will also have the responsibility of helping to build a really positive environment for all Irish athletes.”

Just over 100 Irish boxers have competed at the Games since Ireland first entered the Olympics at Paris 1924.


Irish 2016 Olympic Boxing Squad

49kg – Light-flyweight-  Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg – Flyweight – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg – Bantamweight –  Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg – Lightweight –  Katie Taylor (Bray)
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)

Team manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physio: Julianne Ryan