IABA Public Relations Officer Bernard O’Neill
The Irish Elite squad put the finishing touches to their preparations for the AIBA World Championships with a test match against Canada in Cologne this week.
The squad have been in Cologne for over a week training and sparring with hosts Germany, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Moldova and Norway ahead of the 2011 AIBA World Championships.
The AIBA event, which gloves off in Baku, Azerbaijan next Monday, will act as the first major qualifier for male boxers for the London 2012 Olympics.
At least 120 nations – a record entry for an AIBA Championships – will be competing in Baku and Irish head coach Billy Walsh reckons that with Olympic qualification and World medals up for grabs competition will be intense.
“We’re happy where the squad are at at the moment. We’ve been here for over a week now and we’re looking forward to getting out of here and settling in in Baku, said Walsh.
“We’ll have test match with Canada on Tuesday and then we leave Wednesday. We’ve had a very good training camp in Cologne, away from all distractions.
“We’re less than a week away from the start of the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers now and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we’re here for.”
The Irish team will leave Cologne for Baku tomorrow and are scheduled to arrive in the Azerbaijani city on Wednesday evening.
The 2011 AIBA World Championships officially begin Thursday. Boxing will commence next Monday.
Please see below attachment for tournament schedule.
Irish Squad 2011 AIBA World Championships & Olympic Qualifiers Baku, Azerbaijan Sept/22nd/Oct 10th
49Kg: (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC, Belfast)
52Kg: (Flyweight) – Michael Conlon (St John Bosco BC, Belfast)
56Kg: (Bantamweight) – John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
60Kg: (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy BC, Kildare)
64Kg: (Light-welterweight) – Ray Moylette (St Anne’s BC, Mayo)
69Kg: (Welterweight) – Roy Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy BC, Kildare)
75Kg: (Middleweight) – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC, Kilkenny)
81Kg: (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate BC, Westmeath)
91Kg: (Heavyweight) – Ken Egan (Neilstown BC, Dublin)
91Kg+: (Super-heavyweight) – Con Sheehan (Clonmel BC, Tipperary)
Team manager: Des Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Jimmy Halpin
Physio: Scott Murphy
Performance Psychologist: Gerry Hussey
Performance Analysis: Alan Swanton