Katie Taylor, David Oliver Joyce, and Brendan Irvine are all just nine minutes away from a spot at this Summer’s Olympics in Rio.
The trio all box in the semi-finals of the European Olympic qualifier in Samsun, Turkey tomorrow, with their spots on the plane to Rio on the line and Irish bookmaking giant Paddy Power are offering odds ahead of the crucial clashes.
Bray lightweight Katie Taylor renews hostilities with Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna, and the reigning Olympic champion is a prohibitive 1/18 to qualify for a second Games. While Taylor would be considered a favourite, she was pushed all the way by Alekseevna (7/1) last year at the European Games, eventually emerging victorious after a judges’s tie-breaker.
Brendan Irvine is also a victim of unreasonably short odds for his bout with Armenia’s Narek Abgaryan. The Belfast flyweight is just 1/6 to beat the dangerous Eastern European who is priced at 7/2.
Finally there is Davey Oliver Joyce who looks to finally make it to an Olympic Games when he takes on Wales’s Joe Cordina. The St Michael’s Athy lightweight twice defeated Cordina, including a stoppage win at the 2012 Olympic qualifier. The Team GB boxer has improved since then, winning European gold last year (albeit in a field bereft of Joyce, his Irish team-mate Sean McComb, and Azeri kingpin Albert Selimov), and has somewhat surprisingly been installed as 8/13 favourite. Joyce on the other hand is a tempting 5/4 for the bout.
For Joyce and Irvine, a loss will not end their Olympic ambitions this week as the top three at each of the ten weights for men will qualify [with the beaten semi-finalists engaging in a box-off on Saturday].
The three fights will be shown on RTÉ and Boxnation.
To place bets on tomorrow’s fights, as well as those including British boxers, click here.