Barnes can qualify for RIO with WSB win tonight

Hasanboy Dusmatov moved three points clear of Paddy Barnes at the top of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) 49kg individual rankings table in Kiev last night.

But the Uzbek light-fly, who boxes for the Ukraine Otamans, knows that victory from his last fight of the regular season this evening will not be enough to qualify for Rio 2016 if Barnes wins in Venezuela in the early hours of Sunday morning against Finol Rivas.

The top ranked WSB light-fly after this weekend will qualify for the 31st Olympiad.

Dusmatov beat Russia’s Belik Galanov on a unanimous decision tonight to finish on 33 points, but any means of victory – either by unanimous decision, KO or TKO (5 points) or split decision (4 points) – will suffice for Barnes, who is on 30 points, against Rivas and qualify the Irish two-time Olympic bronze medallist for his third successive Olympiad.

Meanwhile, Russian bantamweight Vladimir Nikitin, and AIBA World Elite silver medallist, qualified for Rio 2016 after beating Omurbek Malabekov in Kiev on a unanimous decision tonight. Irish ref Michael Gallagher was the third man in the ring for the 56kg five-rounder.

The result means that Michael Conlan must win in Venezuela versus Jose Diaz-Azocar and hope that Azerbaijan’s Magomed Gurbanov loses away to Mora Garcia of Puerto Rico on Saturday.

If Gurbanov wins he will qualify for Rio 2016 as one the two top ranked bantams along with Nikitin. Cuba’s Andy Cruz-Gomez is in second spot in the bantam table behind Nikitin, but his last match of the season was against the British Lionhearts in London last night.


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