IABA President Tommy Murphy and CEO Fergal Carruth have hailed the performances of Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) in Venezuela on Saturday night.
The Belfast duo, lining out for Italia Thunder, beat Finol Rivas and Jose Diaz of Venezuela to secure two quota places for Rio 2016 in the light-fly and bantamweight classes.
Billy Walsh and John Conlan were working the Irish corners in Venezuela.
Tommy Murphy said: “Once again Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan have done Irish boxing proud. We are absolutely delighted that they both won in Venezuela.
“Congratulations to Paddy and Michael on two excellent wins against quality opponents.
“They have both boxed incredibly well in the World Series of Boxing this season and they deserve enormous praise. We’re very happy with this weekend and hopefully Joe Ward and David Oliver Joyce can now do well in APB next month and in June.”
Fergal Carruth said: “It is a testament to the resilience, hard work and tremendous and immense talent of Michael and Paddy that they have earned these quota places for the Rio Games.
“It is our understanding that the Olympic Council will be forwarded an Olympic invitation for Michael and Paddy.
“This is a fantastic day for both men and for their families and clubs and for all those who have helped them put themselves in this position.
“It is another proud day for Irish boxing.”
*Italia Thunder lost Saturday’s Group B clash 3-2. Barnes and Conlan were the only two boxers to win for the Azzurri on the night.
Vincenzo Mangiacapre could have secured a place at the Rio Olympics and a Group B win for Thunder, but the Italian ace, unfortunately, lost to Venezuela’s Luis Arcón in the light-welter class in the third fight on the five-bout card.*