Walsh makes resounding return to the ring.

Images: Tara Robins Mari

Tokyo bronze medalist, Aidan Walsh, has made a resounding return to the ring, in his opening bout at the 1st Olympic World Qualifier.

Aidan met United Arab Emirates boxer Husain Alkandari. Aidan gave a standing count inside the first minute of the first round – and two more swiftly following. The bout ended in an RSC before the first bell.

Speaking to Olympics.com, after his bout, Aidan said: “I’m just happy to be here and back in boxing. To be honest even before going in the ring today I was wondering, ‘What am I doing here? How did it come to this? It took a lot of work to get back to boxing and it was a real mental struggle, so to be back here is just an absolute privilege. Five months ago I was sitting on the chair at home, drinking a can of Coke and watching TV, and now I’m here trying to qualify for the Olympic Games. It’s amazing. I’m just looking forward to going back now and having a nice cup of tea, chilling out in my room, and seeing my family.”

And, he adds: “The Olympics changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to the Olympic Games because it’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life. The help and support that I got after that was absolutely amazing, and I was surrounded by good people. I’m just happy to be back in boxing and just loving sport again. My main motivation now is just to be here and enjoy sport. Whether I win, lose or draw, I just want to compete to my best.”

Aidan moves to the Round of 32, and will take on Brazil’s Wanderson de Oliveira in the Morning Session on March 7th. de Oliveira is also a Tokyo Olympian, and contested the Games at light welterweight. He existed at the Quarter Final stage to eventual champion, Andy Cruz.

602 boxers from 113 countries have registered to contest the tournament – making it the third largest boxing tournament in history. As a result, the beginning of boxing has been brought forward by a day, to March 3rd. Three sessions of boxing will take place March 4th to 8th to accommodate the volume of competition required.

49 quota places are available. In all weights Ireland is contesting at the tournament, a last four finish will qualify for Paris. The Paris Boxing Taskforce, which is running the competition on behalf of the International Olympic Committee, has advised that boxers will box to quota – which means boxers will cease competing at the Quarter Finals stage where last 4 qualify.

Day Four – March 6th

One Ireland boxer is in action on March 6th, Superheavy, Martin McDonagh. In his opening bout, Martin defeated 5 time US champion, and now Dominican Republic boxer, Fernely Ali Feliz.

On Wednesday, he meets Turkey’s Yusuf Acik in Bout 8 of Ring A’s Afternoon Session, which begins at 2.30pm, Irish Time. Martin is expected in the ring at around 4.15pm

Programme, March 6th

Session Times

The morning session begins at 10am, Irish time

The afternoon session begins at 2.30pm, Irish time

The evening session may begin at either 6pm or 7pm Irish time, see below.

There is no afternoon session on March 4th.

Tournament Schedule

Watch live

Olympics.com will stream all of the bouts, from March 8th, onward. It will not stream boxing from March 3rd to 7th.

Team

1st Olympic World Qualifier Team:

50kg Daina Moorehouse, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow

54kg Jennifer Lehane, DCU Boxing Club, Dublin

66kg Grainne Walsh, St. Mary’s BC, Tallaght, Dublin

51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin

57kg Jude Gallagher, Two Castles ABC, Tyrone

71kg Aidan Walsh, Holy Family GG BC, Belfast

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, Saviours Crystal, Waterford

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Crumlin BC, Dublin

Results

All drawsheets are available here

March 3rd results are here

Session 6A results

Session 6B results

Session 7A results

Session 7B results

Session 8A results

Session 8B results