Just six other boxers have entered in Ray Moylette’s light-welter class for the final qualifier for Rio 2016 in Vargas, Venezuela.
Moylette will meet Armenia’s Hovhannes Backrov in the quarter-finals on Monday.
The top three qualify for Rio in Moylette’s weight. Two of the fighters in his 64kg class, Carlos Portillo and Italy’s Massimiliano Ballisai, are professional boxers, while APB fighter Daniel Aquino of Argentina is a former 14(11)-1(0) pro..
Undefeated Portillo is unbeaten in 18 outings and is the current Paraguayan super-lightweight champion.
Pro boxers are eligible for Vargas after a recent International Boxing Association Congress meeting deleted rule 13 (J) – following a landslide vote from National delegations, including Ireland, to dump 13 (J) – which banned pro fighters from registering with their National Federations from its Constitution.
79 boxers across the ten weights weighed-in this morning in Vargas.
Former WBO World middleweight champion Hassan N’Jikam has entered at light-heavy and former IBF flyweight champ Amnat Ruenrong has entered at lightweight.
Bouts in Vargas will be contested over three, three minute rounds.
Irish coach Eddie Bolger and Moylette’s club (St Anne’s BC, Mayo) coach Martin Brennan will be working Ireland’s corner in Latin America.
Moylette, the only Irish boxer eligible for Vargas, qualified through AIBA Pro Boxing. Three bouts will be decided today on Day 1 of the tournament. The light-welters are in action Monday.
Moylette requires a top 3 finish to qualify for the Games, therefore if he is to win his semi final on Monday he will then have two chances to secure his slot (the semi final and the third-place box-off).
Final Olympic Qualifiers Vargas, Venezuela
Ray Moylette (Ireland) v Hovhannes Backrov (Armenia)
Ray Moylette (Ireland)
Carlos Aquino (Argentina)
Hovhannes Backrov (Armenia)
Massimiliano Ballisai (Italy)
Carlos Portillo (Paraguay)
Thulasi Tharumalingam (Qatar)
Volodymyr Matviichuk (Ukraine)
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish