Steven Donnelly will be keeping a close eye on welterweights Muhammed Rabii (Morocco) and Radzhab Butaev (Russia) in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) over the next 48 hours.
Rabii has won four from four – including an impressive decision over Cuba’s current Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo last time out – and is in second place on 19 points (he won one fight on a split decision) in the WSB Individual rankings table, four points ahead of third-placed Donnelly.
The North African ace is in action against Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman of the British Lionhearts at York Hall in London tomorrow night.
Butaev, who has won four from four on unanimous decisions and is on a maximum of 20 points, meets Iglesias Sotolongo on Friday evening in Moscow in a key bout for the Russian star.
A unanimous decision will see him maintain his one point lead over Rabii – assuming that Rabii wins on a unanimous – but a Iglesias Sotolongo victory will blow the race for Rio 2016 wide open in the 69kg class.
The top two ranked welterweights at the end of the regular WSB season next month will qualify for Rio 2016.
Donnelly (All Saints BC) is in action for the Hussars of Poland against an opponent to be confirmed in Argentina on Saturday.
If results go his way over the next two days and he wins in Argentina he could go joint top this weekend.
Irish coach Eddie Bolger will be working Donnelly’s corner in San Luis.