Opponents confirmed for crucial Barnes and Conlan bouts

Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan will be aiming for an Irish double for Italia Thunder versus the Argentina Condors in Italy on Saturday night.

The Belfast duo meet Leandro Junior Zarate and Ignacio Perrin in the light-fly and bantam clashes in their penultimate World Series of Boxing fights in Milan.

Barnes is two points ahead of his nearest rival, Uzbek Hasanboy Dusmatov of the Ukraine Otamans, who is in action on Friday, at the top of the 49kg WSB Individual rankings.

Zarate has won two from three in the WSB this season. He dropped a unanimous decision to Poland’s Sebastian Dawid Jagodzinski, who Barnes convincingly beat on a unanimous decision this term.

Perrin has lost two from two (one defeat was after conceding a walkover).

The topped ranked light-fly at the end of the regular WSB season next month will qualify for the Rio Olympics. Barnes will book a ticket for the 2016 Games if he earns ten points, nine points will also suffice, from his last two fights starting this weekend.

Conlan, who is in third spot in the bantam table, is aiming for a top-two finish to qualify for Rio and will be keeping an eye on the result of the Franciso Martinez (USA) versus Toitov Meirbolat (Kazakhstan) fiver-rounder in Miami on Friday evening.

Barnes and Conlan will be in action for Italia Thunder, which also has a third Irish London 2012 Olympian, Adam Nolan, in their ranks, for the last time this season on April 18th away to Venezuela.

Billy Walsh and John Conlan, father to Michael, will be working the corners in Milan.

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