Joe Ward (red) in action

Joe Ward (red) in action

Joe Ward makes his eagerly anticipated Olympic debut tonight versus Ecuadorian light-heavy Carlos Andres Mina.

Both men will be in the ring for the 81kg clash, the third last fight on the program,at approximately 11:15pm this evening (Irish time).

“This is what all the training camps and preparations are for the last few months. It’s always been my dream to box at the Olympics and I’m very much looking forward to making my debut,” said Ward.

Click here and see below attachments for 81kg draw sheet and today’s program.

Boxing2016 – Rio 2016 Olympic Games Entry Men’s 81KG Draw Sheets

The experienced Mina, who has 211 bouts under his belt, booked a ticket for Rio after finishing in 1st place in the Americas qualifiers in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this year.

An orthodox, the 24-year-old Quito-native has one notable victory under his belt. He beat Cuba’s Julio De La Cruz, the No. 1 seed in the light-heavy class in Rio, on a split decision in the World Series of Boxing last year, a five round fight as opposed to three rounds in Olympic boxing.

Ward, the current European Elite champion, qualified for Rio after reaching the 81kg World Elite final in Doha, Qatar last year.

Meanwhile, Aram Avagyan (Armenia) or Arashi Mariska (Japan) meet on today’s program. The winner will advance to face Michael Conlan, the No. 1 seed in the bantamweight class, on Sunday.

Irish Draw Rio Olympics

August 7th (last 32)

60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v 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) v Carlos Andres Mina (Ecuador)

August 11th (last 16)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) v Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia)

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 14th (last 16)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Aram Avagyan (Armenia) or Arashi Mariska (Japan)

August 15th (Q/Finals)
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