IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neil
John Joe Nevin will be taking home at least a bronze medal from the 2011 AIBA World Championships following a quarter-final win in Baku, Azerbaijan today.
But Darren O’Neill and Michael Conlan lost out in their quests for medals following last-eight reversals to Ryota Murata of Japan and current European champion, Andrew Selby of Wales.
Nevin, a bronze medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan, came from behind to beat Orzubek Shayimov of Uzbekistan 19-17 in this morning’s bantamweight quarter-final.
He’ll now meet England’s Luke Campbell in the semi-finals on Friday.
Nevin, who secured qualification for the 2012 Olympics by virtue of reaching today’s quarter-final, beat Campbell 13-2 in the semi-finals of European Union Championships in Denmark in 2009. Nevin won silver at that tournament.
Campbell, who boxes out of the St Paul’s ABC in Hull, won gold at the 2008 European Championships in Liverpool.
Nevin was three points down (7-4) down versus Shayimov but reduced the deficit to two points (11-9) by the end of the second before putting in yet another big final round to claim a 19-17 victory and his second podium finish at an AIBA World Championships.
Today’s win makes the Cavan BC stylist the only male (Katie Taylor has won three gold medals at AIBA World Championships level) boxer to win two medals at the AIBA World Senior Championships in the history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
Meanwhile, Conlan, who boxes out of the St John Bosco BC in Belfast, produced another big, brave performance but agonisingly lost out by a single point (25-24) to Selby in the flyweight class.
Selby, who claimed gold at the European Championships in Turkey early this year, won the first round of today’s clash 7-4 and ultimately that secured victory, as 19-year-old Conlan, in his first year boxing senior, won the next two rounds 10-9 and 10-9 only to find himself one point in arrears at the final bell.
Kilkenny southpaw O’Neill, who like Nevin and Conlan secured Olympic qualification by virtue of reaching the last eight, was 3-2 behind at the end of the first versus Murata, who eliminated two-time World champion, Abbos Atoyev of Uzbekistan, in the preliminaries.
“I had a good campaign here and I was looking forward to getting into this fight. I came to the World Championships hoping to qualify for the Olympics Games. I’ve done that. I’m obviously very disappointed with today, but on the day he was a better boxer. His game plan worked,” said the Irish 2012 Olympian following today’s defeat.
Thursday is a rest day in Baku. The semi-finals will be held Friday followed by the finals on Saturday.