Conlan Eyeing Podium Finish
Michael Conlan can rely on plenty of support in his endeavors to secure a third Olympic medal for Irish amateur boxing at the ExCel in London tonight.
Irish boxing fans have been out in force since the opening bell for these Games, culminating in an emotionally charged atmosphere for Katie Taylor’s Olympic debut yesterday.
Ireland supporters helped set a new Olympic record for noise levels at London 2012 for Taylor’s meeting with Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas.
And they will be out in force again this evening when Conlan steps into the squared circle for his 52kg quarter-final with French champion Nordine Ouballi.
The stylish 20-year-old orthodox, who can switch to southpaw with devastating effect, holds two straight wins over the French flyweight going into the three-rounder which will yield at least a bronze medal for the winner.
The St John Bosco BC stand out beat Ouballi at the AIBA World Championships last year – a win that qualified him for London 2012 – and followed that up with with another victory over the French ace at a Round Robin tournament in France earlier this year.
On both occasions there was only a few points between victor and vanquished and Irish Team Manager Des Donnelly believes it could be another edge-of-the-seat affair this evening.
“Michael is in great shape going into tonight’s quarter-final and he’s really looking forward to this one. It’s going to be tough and I don’t think there will be much in it, but Michael has beaten the French lad twice and that should give him the psychological edge, he said.
“He’ll have plenty of support this evening. The Irish fans have been absolutely incredible here and they are really getting behind the team and they will be out in force to support Michael this evening.
“The support has been fantastic and a lot of the British boxing fans are getting behind the Irish boxers as well.
“It’s going to be another big night for Irish amateur boxing and hopefully we will have medal number three at the end of it.”
Conlan and Ouballi will be in the ring at approximately 9pm tonight.
2012 Olympic Games
July 28th – Last 32
56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Dennis Villy Ceylan (Denmark) 21-6
75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Muideen Olalekan Akanji (Nigeria) 15-6
July 29th – Last 32
69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Carlos Sanchez Estacio (Ecuador) 14-8
August 1st – Last 16
56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Kanat Abutalipov (Kazakhstan) 15-10
August 2nd – Last 16
75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Stefan Hartel (Germany) 12-19
August 3rd – Last 16
52kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Duke Akeuth Micah (Ghana) 19-8
69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) lost to Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia) 9-18
August 4th – Last 16
49kg – Light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Ireland) beat Thomas Essomba (Cameroon) 15-10
August 5th – Quarter- final
56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Oscar Valdez-Fierro (Mexico) 19-13
August 6th – Quarter-final
60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Natasha Jonas (Great Britain) 26-15
August 7th – Quarter-final (8.30pm session)
52kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Nordine Ouballi (France)
August 8th – Semi-final (1.30pm session)
60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Mavzuna Chorieva (Tajikistan)
August 8th – Quarter-final (8.30pm session)
49kg – Light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Singh Laishram (India)
August 10th- Semi-Finals (1.30pm session)
56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez (Cuba)
Irish 2012 Olympic squad
49Kg (Light-flyweight) Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC, Belfast)
52kg (Flyweight) Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC, Belfast)
56kg (Bantamweight) John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
60kg (Lghtweight) Katie Taylor (Bray BC, Wicklow)
69kg (Welterweight) Adam Nolan (Bray BC, Wicklow)
75kg (Middleweight) Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC, Kilkenny)
Team Manager: Des Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Pete Taylor
Physio: Conor McCarthy
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary
Performance Psychologist: Gerry Hussey