Michael O’Reilly one win away from Rio

Michael O’Reilly has left himself just one win away from a place at the Rio Olympics after victory today at the final AOB Qualifier in Azerbaijan

The Portlaoise middleweight defeated Mongolian Shinebayar Narmandakh in the Last 16 in Baku.

The World Championships bronze medalist took a unanimous decision over the Asian with scores of 30-27 in his favour across the board.

O’Reilly now faces a daunting quarter-final/Olympic box-off with on Thursday evening with home favourite Kamran Shakhsuvarly. The Azeri today defeated Venezuelan Johan Gonzalez via a close unanimous decision (29-28 x3).

Even if O’Reilly were to lose on Thursday, he would still be in with a shout for an Olympic berth if Shakhsuvarly is to win the competition outright. The 75kg class at this week’s tournament offers five Olympic slots, and with no box-offs for quarter final losers scheduled, it is assumed that the fifth qualification spot is given to the quarter finalist who loses to the tournament’s eventual winner.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie