Steven Donnelly finds the target in Rio

Steven Donnelly finds the target in Rio



No Irish boxer will be in action at the Rio Olympic today, but Steven Donnelly, Brendan Irvine, Michael Conlan and Katie Taylor are between the ropes over the weekend and on Monday in a crucial three days.

(Click on names for individual schedules).

Donnelly meets Morocco’s current World Elite champion Mohammed Rabii tomorrow. Both men qualified for Rio through the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

However, Casablanca-native Rabii made the standard again at the World Elites in Qatar last year after winning gold, in an almost identical route to Conlan who first qualified through the WSB and then again after claiming bantamweight gold on the Arabian Peninsula.

If Donnelly, who got his country off to a winning start last Sunday and who picked Irish boxing off the ropes with a massive victory yesterday, wins tomorrow he will be guaranteed at least bronze.

The Ballymena BC welter will put everything on the line against the No. 1 seed.

He said: “He’s a classy operator and he’s not the world champion for nothing but I believe in myself and I’m going to give it everything. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

European Games silver medallist Irvine, meanwhile, makes his Olympic debut tomorow versus Uzbek southpaw Shakhobidin Zoirov for a place in the last 16. Zoirov booked a Rio ticket after claiming gold at the Asia and Oceania qualifiers in China earlier this year.

Conlan, the current AIBA World and European Elite bantamweight champion,faces Armenia’s Aram Avagyan for a place in the last-eight on Saturday. Conlan and Taylor are both seeded number 1 in their respective weights at the 31st Olympiad.


Brendan Irvine (red) in action

Brendan Irvine (red) in action

Taylor, the current Olympic champion, awaits the winner of today’s showdown between Finland’s Mira Potoken, who she has beaten five times in the past, and Brazil’s London 2012 bronze medallist Adriana Araujo, who qualified after accepting the one host place reserved for females in the lightweight category.

Taylor beat Araujo 20-5 en route to gold at the 2010 World Elite Women’s Championships in Barbados under the old computer scoring system.

Taylor actually took a standing count in error in that bout, as it was Araujo who was wobbled and not the Wicklow orthodox.

If the Bray woman, who received a bye into the quarter-finals, has her hand raised in victory in Monday’s quarter final she will be assured of a least bronze and her second successive Olympic medal.

Potkonen and Araujo go head-to-head at approximately 3;30pm (Irish time) today.


Irish Draw Rio Olympics

August 7th (last 32)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Andrique Allisop (Seychelles) 3-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Zahir Kedache (Algeria) 3-0

August 8th (last 16)
49kg Paddy Barnes (Ireland) lost to Samuel Carmona (Spain) 1-2

August 9th (last 16)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) lost to Albert Selimov (Azerbaijan) 0-3

August 10th (last 16)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) lost to Carlos Andreas Mina (Ecuador) 1-2

August 11th (last 16)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia) 2-1

August 12th (last 16)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Uziel Rodriquez (Mexico) W/O

August 13th (last 32)
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan)

August 13th (Q/Final)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) v Mohammed Rabii (Morocco)

August 14th (last 16)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Aram Avagyan (Armenia)

August 15th (Q/Final)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Mira Potkonen (Finland) or Adriana Araujo (Brazil)

Irish squad

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)

Team Manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physio: Julianne Ryan
Sport Psychologist: Gerry Hussey
Doctor: Jim Clover