Michael O'Reilly (blue) is the No. 1 seed in the middleweight class in Baku

Michael O’Reilly (blue) is the No. 1 seed in the middleweight class in Baku


No Irish boxer will be in action in the opening two days of the penultimate Olympic qualifiers for Rio 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Dean Walsh, Michael O’Reilly, who won European Games gold in Baku last year, Darren O’Neill and Dean Gardiner carry Ireland’s hopes in Azerbaijan.

O’Reilly is the No. 1 seed in the middleweight class, while Gardiner received a bye into the last 16 at super-heavy.

Kilkenny heavyweight O’Neill will be the first Irish boxer in action on Saturday. Wexford light-welter Walsh received a bye into the last 32.

The top five light-welters and middleweights qualify for Rio, but heavyweights and super-heavyweights must win gold as there is just one Rio 2016 place available in both categories.

39 Olympic places are up for grabs across the ten weights in Baku.

The tournament is being held at 2,200 capacity  Sarhadchi Arena in the Azeri capital.

Rio Olympian Joe Ward won middleweight gold for Ireland at the World Youth Championships at the venue in 2010 and Ryan Burnett claimed silver. Click here for draws.

Boxing begins today in Baku.



Irish draw Baku Olympic qualifiers

June 18th

(Last 32)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Mustafa El Molla (Sweden)

June 19th

(Last 32)

64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) v Smetov Ismetov (Bulgaria)

(Last 16)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner v Kaho Raikadroka (Tonka) or Satish Kumar (India)

June 20th

(Last 32)

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Abdreas Kokknos (Cyprus) or Vitalia Dandarenka (Belarus)


Irish Squad


64kg (Light-welter) Dean Walsh (St Josephs/St Ibars)

75kg (Middleweight) Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)

91kg (Heavyweight )Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

91kg + (Super-heavy) Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)


Team manager Joe Hennigan

Coaches: Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger

Performance Analyst Alan Swanton

Sports Psychologist: Gerry Hussey