By IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill
Team Ireland are gearing up for their final training camp in Assisi, Italy before the AIBA World Elite Men’s Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Joe Ward, Michael O’Reilly, Adam Nolan, Dean Walsh, Sean McComb, Michael Conlan and Brendan Irvine will represent Ireland at the 18th edition of the Championships which are doubling up as a qualifier for Rio 2016.
The squad leave for Assisi on Wednesday. Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Ceire Smith and Darren O’Neill are included in the Irish panel for Assisi.
“We’ll train with Italy and Belarus in Assisi and the World Championships team will leave for Doha from Italy on October 2nd, “ said Billy Walsh, who will be Irish head coach in Assisi and Doha.
260 boxers are slated to compete at the 2015 AIBA World Championships which will yield 23 places for Rio 2016. Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia and Eddie Bolger are Ireland’s coaches. Joe Hennigan will be Irish team manager on the Arabian Peninsula.
Brendan Irvine and Joe Ward need to finish in top two positions in Doha (reach their finals) to qualify for Rio 2016.
Sean McComb, Dean Walsh, Adam Nolan and Michael O’Reilly have a slightly bigger window of opportunity. They require top three finishes to qualify for the 31st Olympiad from the light, light-welter, welter and middle classes.
The finalists in these weight classes qualify, while the losing semi-finalists meet in box-offs to determine the third spot.
Michael Conlan has already qualified for the 2016 Olympics through the World Series of Boxing.
However, if the current Europe Elite bantamweight champion does finish in a top three position in the Persian Gulf he’ll have the unique distinction, technically at least, of having qualified for the same Olympics twice.
Qatar are coached by Cuba’s Juan Carlos Gonzalez, who has his squad in a training camp in Poland recently
“We are still a small boxing nation,” he said.
“To be able to fight in the World Championships on home soil is absolutely massive for these boys. Ever since it was clear that Doha won the bid, they have been working so hard to get fit and ready.
“For them it is a great opportunity to test themselves against the world’s best boxers, and as you can imagine, they cannot wait to perform in front of their own fans, friends and families.”
Boxing begins on October 6th in Doha.
Please scroll down for Irish World Championships squad and opponents.