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last update: 26/08/2012

Olympic Games 27 July - 12 August       London 2012

http://www.london2012.com/

 

    Irish 2012 Olympic squad

Draw & results

Entries/ Draw last 32

last 16

Qtr

Semi

Final

               
Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC, Belfast) 26 bye W15-10 W23-18 Bronze

L15-15

45-44cb

Medal

 
49Kg (Light-flyweight)
               
Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC, Belfast) 26 bye W8-19 W18-22 Bronze

L10-20

Medal

 
52kg (Flyweight)
               
John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC) 28 W21-6 W15-10 W19-13 W14-19 Silver

L11-14

Medal

56kg (Bantamweight)
  60kg (Lightweight) 28          
               
  Woman's 51kg (Flyweight) 12          
Katie Taylor (Bray BC, Wicklow) 12   bye W25-16 W17-9

Gold

W10-8

Medal

60kg (Lightweight)
  Woman's 75kg (Middleweight) 12          
               
  Men's 64kg (Light Welterweight) 28          
Adam Nolan (Bray BC, Wicklow) 28 W8-14 L9-18      
69kg (Welterweight)
               
Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC, Kilkenny) 28 W6-15 L12-19      
75kg (Middleweight)
  81kg (Light Heavyweight) 26          
  91kg (Heavyweight) 15          
  +91kg (Super Heavyweight) 16          
   
Team Manager: Des Donnelly

Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Pete Taylor

Physio: Conor McCarthy

Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary

Performance Psychologist: Gerry Hussey

 
 

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Irish Amateur Boxing Association IABA

All reports courtesy of Bernard O'Neill [bernard.oneill@oceanfree.net ]/IABA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NEVIN LOSES OUT IN BRAVE BID FOR GOLD AT LONDON 2012 Sat 11/08/2012 22:45

John Joe Nevin lost out in his bid for Olympic gold versus Great Britain’s Luke Campbell at the ExCel in London tonight.

The Hull bantamweight was awarded a 14-11 decision from a cracking three rounds of boxing.

Campbell took the first 5-3, Nevin responding well with two combos near the end of a frame in which Campbell took maximum advantage of his longer reach to build up his advantage.

Nevin had a fine second round and reduced the deficit to one point. The Mullingar man took a left in the face in the opening exchanges, but fired home a great right off the back foot and found the target with a superb right on the bell.

Nevin probably equalised in opening 20 seconds of the third with a right and probably edged ahead after connecting with a sweeping left, but he was then caught off balance and dropped off a sweeping right from Campbell.

The rangy English southpaw continued to pick up points going down the final stretch, Nevin replying in kind, but at the end of an absorbing three rounds of boxing it was Campbell’s hand that was raised in victory.

Nevin, who has had a magnificent tournament in London, said that he was heart broken to lose but happy with his silver medal from tonight’s 56kg Olympic final.

“I’d have taken a bronze medal coming here but when I got so far I wanted to go the whole way, said the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.

“I’m heart broken now. I wanted to join the club with Katie Taylor and Michael Carruth, but if it’s not meant to be it’s not meant to be. Luke is a tremendous boxer, a tremendous boxer, I can take nothing away from him.

“I don’t think I performed the best on my day. I’m happy with the silver medal,” added the two-time AIBA World medalist.

Nevin, who represented Ireland at the 2008 Olympics, won four contests at the 30th Olympiad.

The Cavan BC bantamweight was the first Irish boxer into the ring at London 2012 and the last out.

Irish boxing will be taking home one gold, one silver and two bronze medals and the Best Female Boxer of the Games Award from the 2012 Olympics.

Nevin was presented with his silver medal this evening. Earlier tonight, Paddy Barnes, the first Irish boxer to win two Olympic medals, was presented with his bronze medal in the light-flyweight class.

“John Joe fought his heart out and the whole team are proud of him”, said Barnes.

Pat Hickey, the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, presented both Irish boxers with their medals.

Irish boxing has now won 16 Olympic medals since the great John McNally won silver in 1952.

 

CONLAN SETTLES FOR BRONZE AT OLYMPICS Fri 10/08/2012

Michael Conlan had to settle for bronze at the 2012 Olympics Games after losing out to Robeisy Carrazana-Ramirez in London.

The Cuban flyweight was handed a 20-10 decision in tonight’s 52kg semi-final at the ExCel.

Conlan, who usually boxes orthodox started off in a southpaw, was trailing 6-3 after the first round this evening, the Cuban doing a lot of work to the body in the opening three minutes, Conlan responding with head and body shots.

The 20-year-old Belfast flyweight exploded out of his corner for the start of the second and got the better of some furious exchanges in the center of the ring

However, after Carrazana-Ramirez regained his composure from the onslaught he once again resumed picking up neat points to open up a 10-6 advantage going into the interval.

Conlan found himself on the ropes after being tagged with a big right in the final frame.

Carrazana-Ramirez followed up like a flash, and, with the Irish Elite champion on the rigging, picked up at least four points from head and body shots.

The St John Bosco BC man found the target with two good lefts in the last minute, but nothing less than a KO would have done at this stage and the Cuban saw out the round to victory.

Speaking after his defeat, an emotional Conlan, who has done Ireland proud at London 2012, admitted that he was devastated.

“He was on form on the day. He threw some good shots and I wasn’t coming back with my counters, he said.

“I’m really devastated. It is a big learning experience for me. This just shows me where I’m at.Getting to the Olympic semi-finals, it has been good for me.

“I was beaten by the better man. He was just too sharp for me tonight. I’m proud of myself. I’m happy where I got.”

Meanwhile, John Joe Nevin, who was the first Irish boxer into the ring at these Olympics, will be the last Irish boxer out of the squared circle tomorrow evening.

The Cavan BC bantamweight meets Great Britain’s Luke Campbell (St Paul’s ABC, Hull) in the 2012 Olympic 56kg final.

 

CLASSY NEVIN THROUGH TO FINAL - BUT BRAVE BARNES BOWS OUT AT LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS Fri 10/08/2012

John Joe Nevin is through to the 2012 Olympic bantamweight final after producing an absolute masterclass against Cuban southpaw Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez in London this afternoon.

But Belfast braveheart Paddy Barnes bowed out after bringing China’s Zou Shiming, the current Olympic and AIBA World champion, all the way down to the wire and beyond at the ExCel.

Nevin showed his class to register a 19-14 decision over Estrada-Alvarez. The current AIBA World champion and number one seed just had no answer to the silky skills of the Irish Elite champion.

“Keep doing what your doing. Don’t switch off,” was the advice from Irish head coach Billy Walsh in the corner after Nevin snapped home some stunning shots to take the first frame 5-3 against the tricky southpaw.

Estrada-Alvarez’s longer reach and raking left were posing problems, however, and the Cuban found the target in a neutral corner mid-way through the second, but Nevin, occasionally switching from orthodox to southpaw, flashed in some slick shots of his own to stretch his lead to 12-9 by the bell.

Nevin, who found some time for a cheeky “Mullingar shuffle” in the third, rocked the Cuban with two big rights in the final three minutes. An uppercut also went flying in as the Mullingar stylist secured at least a silver medal for Ireland at London 2012.

He’ll now meet Great Britain’s Luke Campbell in Saturday’s 56kg final. The duel is a repeat of the 2011 AIBA World Championships semi-final which the English bantamweight, who boxes out of the St Paul’s ABC in Hull, won on a countback following a 12-12 tie in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Campbell, who was beaten 13-2 by Nevin in the 2009 EU Championships in Denmark, lost 14-10 to Estrada-Alvarez in the final in Baku.

“I’ve over the moon with the win. We knew it was going to be a tough one going in, said Nevin, who is coached by Brian McKeown at the Cavan BC, after today’s victory.

“I just seem to be getting better as I go along. I’m enjoying the whole experience. I’m not worried and I’m not putting myself under pressure.”

“Within a half an hour we’ve went from despair to joy. Paddy gave a heroic performance and he was very unlucky to go out and John gave a masterclass, absolutely brilliant,” added Billy Walsh, who was working Ireland’s corner along with Zuar Antia today.

Shortly before Nevin stepped into the ring to give the current AIBA World champion a lesson in the finer arts of boxing, Barnes produced the performance of a lifetime against China’s Zou Shiming, the reigning Olympic and AIBA World champion.

But Barnes, who came storming back after losing the first round, agonisingly lost out on a countback following a 15-15 stalemate.

In the event of a tie, bouts are decided by eliminating the highest and lowest scores of the five judges and totting up the scores from the remaining three.

Shiming was awarded a 15-0 decision in the 2008 Olympic semi-final in Beijing, a margin of victory that Barnes has always, correctly, disputed, although there was no disputing that the Chinese ace won the Beijing clash.

However, the defending Olympic champion was a relieved man getting out of the ring following today’s rematch as he was subjected to a torrid final two rounds from the Ulsterman.

Barnes, stalking Shiming all over the ring, took the final frame by three points.The second stanza finished even at 3-3, while Shiming won the first 8-5.

But when it went back to a countback Shiming was handed 45-44 decision. Shiming held Barnes’ hand aloft at the end of an epic encounter.

It couldn’t have been any closer and it was a truly heroic display from the Belfast man – who guaranteed himself at least a bronze by virtue of reaching the last-four – against arguably the best light-flyweight on the planet.

Barnes is now the third Irish boxer to suffer the agony of going out of the Olympic Games on a countback after John Joe Joyce (2008) and Andy Lee (2004).

However, Barnes can take a lot of consolation from the fact that he will be coming home from the 2012 Games as the only Irish boxer in the 101-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to win two Olympic medals.

Speaking after the fight, the Irish Elite champion sportingly wished his opponent well in the final.

“He’s very elusive, very hard to pin down. The best of luck to him in the final. The first round cost me the fight. I gave it everything.” said the 2010 European and Commonwealth champion.

“Paddy gave it his all against a world class opponent and he can be very proud.John was magnificent. It was a brilliant display,” added Stephen Connolly (IABA) from ringside at the ExCel.

Meanwhile, Belfast flyweight Michael Conlan will be in action tonight as Ireland go in search of a double over the mighty Cuba.

Irish boxing will be taking home at least one gold, one silver and two bronze medals from the 30th Olympiad – and one Best Female Boxer of the Games Award.

It is our best ever Olympic haul in boxing since Ireland independently entered the 1924 Olympiad in Paris, thirteen years after the Irish Amateur Boxing Association was founded in 1911.

 

KATIE TAYLOR WINS BEST WOMEN'S BOXER AWARD AT 2012 OLYMPICS Thu 09/08/2012

Katie Taylor was celebrating another historic first tonight after she scooped the Best Women's Boxer Trophy of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Bray BC lightweight claimed a gold medal today following a 10-8 win over Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the 60kg final at the ExCel in London.

This is the first time that this award has been presented in the history of Olympic boxing as female pugilism was made its Olympic debut at London 2012.

The choice was decided by the experts, by the journalists, those who covered every single minute of competition, analysed and dissected every bout to give their expert opinions.

An AIBA Statement read:

"After triumphing in the Lightweight (60kg) final, Ireland's Katie Taylor was the overwhelming choice to take the 'Best Women's Boxer of the London 2012 Olympic Games' trophy. Her technique, her poise and her all-round excellence had the pundits acclaiming her exploits in unison as she took sixty percent of the vote.

"A pioneer, 25-year-old Katie Taylor has taking the sport to new heights with her level of skills and dedication to the sport. She is a worthy winner of the first ever women's best boxer trophy.

"The decision was not decided on sentiment; the experts agreed that her performances at the ExCeL in both the quarters and semi-finals made her the perfect choice to be rewarded with the trophy. The Irish legend was in scintillating form in her previous two bouts, eliminating the rising star from Tajikistan Mavzuna Chorieva in the semi-finals and before that overcoming the tough challenge of Natasha Jonas of Great Britain in arguably the best contest of the whole competition, including the men."

"We are proud at AIBA that Katie Taylor has graced the sport of boxing and we sincerely hope that she will be there in Rio 2016 to defend her title and once again showcase women's boxing in all its splendour."

 

 

IRELAND IN JOINT SECOND SPOT IN MEDALS TABLES

by Bernard O'Neill on Friday, August 10th, 2012
Katie Taylor’s win has lifted Ireland into joint second spot in the medals tables at London 2012.

Katie Taylor

 

Thursday’s  Katie Taylor versus Sofya Ochigava Olympic lightweight final was an all female affair as the third person in the ring, referee Almonte Martinez, was also a woman.

C73B241

Taylor – and even the weather has dramatically improved here since she won – claimed an historic gold against the Russian southpaw yesterday and also scooped the Female boxer of the 2012 Games award.

C75WW60

This is the first time that this award has been presented as female boxing made its debut at the 2012 Games. The award citation specifically mentioned the Taylor versus Natasha Jonas bout as one of the contests of the tournament, male or female.

The Val Barker award for best male boxer at the Olympic Games was first presented at the 1936 Olympiad.

C95 as of 9th

Meanwhile, Taylor’s win has lifted Ireland into joint second spot in the medals table with hosts Great Britain. This will change over the weekend when the men’s final places are decided.

C92AWW60

However, for now, Ireland is in a top two position.

 

TAYLOR IS THE 2012 OLYMPIC CHAMPION

by Bernard O'Neill on Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Katie Taylor realised a lifetime ambition after winning gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London……

2012 Olympic champion Katie Taylor

 Katie Taylor is the new – in every sense of the word – Olympic lightweight champion.

The Bray woman beat Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava at the ExCel in London today to become the second Irish boxer in the 101-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to win Olympic gold.

Taylor, who beat Ochigava in the 2012 AIBA World final in China and in the 2011 European final in Holland, was handed a 10-8 decision amid joyous scenes by the banks of the Thames.

The victory bridges a 20-year gap since Michael Carruth won welterweight gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut at London 2012 in three weight categories – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.

Likewise, Great Britain flyweight Nicola Adams and US middleweight Claressa Shields, who both won gold today, and Taylor, are the first ever female Olympic champions.

Ochigava edged 2-1 ahead by the end of the second round of today’s clash – the first finished 2-2, Taylor rocking her opponent with a big right to restore parity on the bell – but Taylor came storming to take the third 4-1 en route to sealing an historic victory in a fourth and final round in which you could cut the tension with a knife.

Tommy Murphy, the President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, said: “Katie is a fantastic ambassador for the sport and she now has an Olympic gold medal to add to all the other honours she has won.

“She totally deserves this for all her hard work and dedication to the sport. This is a proud, proud day for Irish amateur boxing.”

Dominic O’Rourke, IABA Director of Boxing, added: “The coaches, Pete and Zuar, got the tactics spot on. Katie had a phenomenal third round. This is a proud day and a fantastic result for the clubs and the coaches and female boxers in Ireland. They will be inspired by this win and they are capable of doing the same because of the systems we have in place.”

Today’s victory was the 132nd of Taylor’s career since 2001 and Irish Team manager Des Donnelly reckons that her win will be an enormous boost for John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan in Friday’s semi-finals.

“It is an absolutely fabulous occasion for Irish boxing. Katie was magnificent. absolutely terrific. We have three in the semi-finals tomorrow and the boys will be inspired by this.”

Pat Hickey, the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, presented Taylor with gold at the medals ceremony.

Irish boxing has now won one gold and at least three bronze medals at the 30th Olympiad.

 

PADDY BARNES CREATES IRISH AMATUER BOXING HISTORY AT LONDON 2012 Wed 08/08/2012 22:25

Paddy Barnes wrote himself into the history books with arguably his best ever performance at the ExCel in London tonight.

The Belfast light-flyweight, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, became the first boxer in the 101-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to claim two Olympic medals with a 23-18 quarter-final win over India’s Devendro Singh Laishram this evening.

Barnes now joins Dr Pat O’Callaghan as the only Irish athlete to win two Olympic medals since Ireland entered the Olympic Games independently in 1924. O’Callaghan won double gold in the hammer throw in 1928 and 1932.

Tonight’s victory, which assures Barnes of at least another bronze, also guarantees Irish boxing a 4th medal from London 2012, a collection that matches the record medal haul of the Irish 1956 boxing squad in Melbourne.

Barnes and Lasihram sparred at the National Stadium in Dublin when the IABA hosted India in the lead up to these Games.

The word back from those spars was that Laishram was quite a handful, but Barnes, always a man for the big occasion, and boxing with precision behind an excellent defence, took the first round of tonight’s duel 7-5.

The 2010 European and Commonwealth champion upped the pace in the second. Lefts to the body and right hooks were the order of the day in a frame in which Lasihram ceded two points after receiving a public warning for dangerous use of his head. Barnes was now 17-10 up.

The Indian threw caution to the wind in the third and there were concerns when Barnes got a public warning for holding. Laishran piled on the pressure.

But the Holy Family BC star stood up to the barrage, and weathering the storm finished the round with a flourish, lashing home two precision rights from behind his high guard to record a deserved win and write himself into the history books.

He’ll now meet China’s Zou Shiming in Friday’s semi-final in a rematch of the 2008 Olympic semi-finals which Shiming won en route to gold in Beijing.

“I’m over the moon, Words cannot describe how I’m feeling. I knew he’d come forward with all guns blazing, but I felt stronger than him,” said the two-time Olympic medalist after his win.

“I trained hard and I know how good I am. I’m confident in myself. I’m going for the gold.”

 

TAYLOR INTO OLYMPIC FINAL Wed 08/08/2012 15:56

Katie Taylor upgraded to at least a silver medal at the London Olympics today following a controlled semi-final win over Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan.

The Bray lightweight, who was guaranteed at least bronze going into today’s four-rounder, posted a 17-9 decision over the 2012 AIBA World bronze medalist at the ExCel in London.

Irish boxing fans once again provided an emotionally charged backdrop to another triumph for the Co. Wicklow woman this afternoon.

The level of support Taylor is receiving is likely to hit fever pitch tomorrow when she meets Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava – who beat (17-11) Brazil’s Adrianna Araujo in the corresponding semi-final today – in the 2012 Olympic 60kg final.

Today’s victory, the 132nd of Taylor’s career,  was delivered exactly 20-years to the day since Michael Carruth, the only Irish boxer to win Olympic gold, finished on top of the welterweight podium at the Barcelona Olympics on August 8th, 1992.

Taylor, the number 1 seed, will be taking home at least silver from London 2012. However, the Bray BC orthodox will be aiming for the biggest price of them all on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a dream come true for me, said the four-time AIBA World champion after her win.

“Today was such a tricky fight. She’s a very good counter-puncher so I knew it was going to be close and now I’m boxing for a gold medal tomorrow.It’s an absolute dream for me.

“Tomorrow is going to be another big day and please God I can bring home gold. It’s going to be a different fight tomorrow.”

“It’s all about the pace. One, two, three and get out.” Those were the instructions from Taylor’s dad and coach, Pete Taylor, and Zuar Antia, who were working her corner today, after she claimed the first round 3-1 versus Chorieva.

The two-time AIBA World female boxer of the year, who rarely moved out of third gear in this contest, took the second 4-2 to extend her advantage to 7-3 at mid-way.

Taylor whipped home some flashing three-punch combinations in this stanza, while Chorieva’s best shot was a left-hook.

The Tajik started showboating in the third, but a clip across the bows from Taylor short circuited that behaviour in what was her best round of the contest

Amazingly, the 2012 Asian Championships silver medalist, who was now seven points in arrears, was back showboating - a luxury which is usually only indulged in by those that are actually in the lead - again in the fourth.

But Taylor, except for a cheeky Ali shuffle, refused to take the bait and closed out a comfortable win.

Thursday’s decider with Ochigava will be a rematch of the 2012 World and 2011 European finals which Taylor won 11-7 in China and 10-5 in Holland.

Thursday’s women’s finals begin at 4.30pm at the ExCel.

“Katie boxed very well and it was a fine performance. The support she got was phenomenal and the Irish fans were absolutely fantastic, said Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

“Paddy Barnes will be back here tonight. He’s in high spirits and he’s really looking forward to this one.”

Belfast light-flyweight Barnes will be in the ring versus India’s Singh Laishram at approximately 8.45pm.

If he wins Ireland will be guaranteed a fourth medal from these Games, and Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, will become the first Irish boxer to win two Olympics medals.

 

 

CONLAN MAKES IT A HAT-TRICK FOR IRELAND

by Bernard O'Neill on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Michael Conlan secured Ireland’s third medal at London 2012 following an edge-of-the-seat win tonight.

Michael Conlan (blue) v Nordine Quballi

Michael Conlan secured Ireland’s third medal at the 2012 Olympics following a three-round thriller with France’s Nordine Ouballi at the ExCel in London tonight.

Both boxers were locked at 12-12 going into the third and final frame, but it was Conlan, who switched from orthodox to southpaw for the entire bout, that took the honours going down the final stretchon a 22-18 decision.

He now becomes the second boxer from the St John Bosco BC in Belfast to win an Olympic medal, following in the footsteps of Freddie Gilroy, who claimed bantamweight bronze at the 1956 Games in Melbourne.

Conlan also joins John Joe Nevin and Katie Taylor of the medals podium at London 2012.

The 20-year-old, who is guaranteed at least bronze, and Ouballi, who had dropped two decisions to the Irish Elite champion prior to tonight, went at it hammer and thongs for the opening three minutes, Conlan meeting his opponents constant aggression with some precision shots, one good right near the end of the round emphasising his insistence that he wasn’t going to be bullied out of this 52kg decider.

Conlan had a solid second round. Good head and foot movement, combined with two big right hooks, and one left kept his opponent guessing. The busy Ouballi, however, was still scoring in the inside. It finished honours even at 7-7.

It all came down to the final three minutes. Ouballi once again piled on the pressure, but Conlan, still boxing southpaw, and still maintaining his composure, starting popping in his jabs and firing home the most potent weapon in his arsenal, his right-hook, en route to claiming a 15th Olympic medal for Irish boxing since 1952.

“This is only me warming up. You haven’t seen the best of Michael Conlan yet,” said a triumphant Belfast ace after he made it a hat-trick of medals for Ireland at the 30th Olympiad.

“It was a really close fight. It was still level going into the third round. Billy (Irish head coach) told me to go for it. I knew I had to and I dug deep.

“It was a very close fight and I knew it was always going to be. We talked about tactics and at the start, it was the very slow start, that I’m kinda famous for, but I’m glad I had a level round, I was lucky enough.

“Next round I stepped it up a little bit and it was still level, Billy told me to go for it and I knew I had to and I dug deep. I’ve a sore head now. It was a hard fight.It was always going to be a tough fight.

“I’ve fought him three times and that was the third time I beat him, but it’s harder to beat someone three times than it is to beat them once.

“He’s a come forward fighter, and our plan was to push him back, and it did work in the end, but just had to be patient and had to keep my cool instead of losing it and losing the fight.”

He’ll now face Cuba’s Robeisy Carrazana Ramirez in the semi-finals on Friday evening. John Joe Nevin also meets a Cuban opponent in the last-four on Friday.

Carrazana-Ramirez beat number 2 seed, Andrew Selby (Great Britain) 16-11 this evening. Selby edged out Conlan by a single point at the 2011 AIBA World Championships.

Tonight’s win sees the 2012 Olympic squad match the medal haul from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where Ken Egan, Darren Sutherland and Paddy Barnes won Ireland’s only medals in all sports.

Barnes will be in quarter-final action tomorrow night. If he emerges victorious then he will become the first Irish boxer in the 101-year history of the IABA to claim two Olympic medals.

Katie Taylor is between the ropes tomorrow afternoon. If Taylor and Barnes win then the 2012 squad will have matched the record haul of one silver and three bronze medals the Irish boxing team took home from the 1956 games in Melbourne.

Meantime, Irish team manager Des Donnelly described Conlan as an “uncut diamond” at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Well, we can now drop the uncut part.

 

KATIE TAYLOR INTO SEMI-FINALS AT 2012 OLYMPICS Mon 06/08/2012 17:30

Katie Taylor guaranteed Irish boxing its 14th Olympic medal since the 1952 Games at the ExCel in London today.

Amid an electric atmosphere, most of which was generated by Irish fans, the Bray BC lightweight saw off the brave challenge of Liverpool southpaw Natasha Jonas from one of the bouts, male or female, of the 30th Olympiad so far.

Taylor, the current World, European and European Union champion, went into today’s four-rounder under enormous pressure to deliver on her Olympic debut.

And amid rousing renditions of Ole, Ole, Ole and the Fields of Athenry, the two-time AIBA World female boxer of the year produced a fantastic performance to register a 26-15 decision over the Merseysider.

This afternoon’s win arrived less than 24-hours after John Joe Nevin secured Ireland’s first medal at the XXX Olympiad with a thrilling victory over Mexico’s Oscar Valdez-Fierro in the English capital.

Taylor will now meet Mayzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan in the semi-finals on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tajik, who Taylor beat 16-6 in the semi-finals of the AIBA World Championships in China earlier this year, eliminated a subdued looking Dong Cheng of China today.

Meantime, as suspected, Ireland’s boxing fans turned the ExCel into Dublin’s National Stadium for Taylor’s Olympic debut.

The last time that an Irish boxer generated such an atmosphere in London, Barry McGuigan, who represented Ireland at the 1980 Olympics, was claiming the WBA World featherweight title at Loftus Road in 1985.

Speaking after her win, Taylor admitted that she was blown away by the support.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. I knew the support was going to be great, but I didn’t realise it was going to be so great. I just tried to stay calm and composed and I thank God for the victory,”she said.

The Bray woman got off to a flying start and took the first round 5-2, but Jonas finally began unleashing her left in the second, a frame which finished 5-5.

However, Taylor, firing in three-punch combinations, surged ahead in the third and forced Jonas into a standing count off a big right in the fourth en route to what was a comfortable and historic victory for the World number one.

“We’re thrilled with today’s win and delighted to be guaranteed another medal, said Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

“The support for Katie was absolutely incredible. You couldn’t hear yourself think. It was absolutely incredible at the ExCel today and Katie performed brilliantly.”

Taylor has now won medals (14 in total,13 of which are gold) at the Olympics, World Championships, European Championships and European Union Championships.

Today’s victory – which secures the first ever Olympic medal for an Irish female pugilist – also secured Irish boxing a second Olympic medal at lightweight.

Drogheda’s Tony “Socks” Byrne claimed bronze for Ireland in this weight class at the 1956 Games in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Michael Conlan will be the next Irish boxer aiming for at least bronze.

The St John Bosco BC ace is in against France’s Nordine Ouballi, an opponent he has beaten twice, in the flyweight quarter-finals on Tuesday evening.

Taylor and John Joe Nevin are now guaranteed at least a bronze apiece from London 2012.

 

JOHN JOE NEVIN INTO SEMI-FINALS AT OLYMPICS

Sun 05/08/2012 22:04

John Joe Nevin put Irish sport on the medals table on Day 9 of the 30th Olympiad in London.

The Cavan BC bantamweight beat Mexico's Oscar Valdez-Fierro 19-13 in a thrilling 56kg quarter-final tonight to guarantee at least a bronze medal.

The win secured Ireland's first medal in all sports at London 2012.

It also secures a 13th Olympic medal for Irish boxing since Belfast's John McNally won silver - also at bantamweight - at the 1952 Games in Helsinki

Nevin, a two-time AIBA World medalist, will now meet Cuba's Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez, the current AIBA World champion, in the semi-finals on August 10th.

Estrada-Alvarez ousted (16-11) Robenilson De Jesus Viera of Brazil in tonight's corresponding quarter-final.

Mullingar-native Nevin, 23, implemented Billy Walsh's and Zuar Antia's game plan to the letter this evening to record a deserved win.

Valdez-Fierro, a constant ball of aggression rolling forward - his tactics could be best described not so much as a Mexican wave as a Mexican tsunami - was expected to take the fight to Nevin for the entire nine minutes.

And that's exactly what the 2008 AIBA World Youth champion did, particularly in the final minute of a frenetic third and final frame.

Nevin found his range early in the first, and while Valdez-Fierro was doing some good work on the inside, it appeared to be Nevin's round, but, surprisingly, it was scored 5-5 at the bell.

However, Nevin used his superior technique to open up a three point advantage by the end of the second, one left straight down the middle being the pick of the punches from the Irishman.

It all came down to the third round. Fierro-Valdez came out of his corner with all guns blazing.

Nevin weathered the early storm and appeared to be coasting to victory, but he then took a count after a big left to the body on the ropes.

That was all the encouragement that the Mexican needed and he began chasing Nevin down inside the final minute

However, the Irish Elite champion, who is coached by Brian McKeown at the Cavan BC, recovered sufficiently from the mandatory count and showed his class and heart to seal a wonderful victory going down the final stretch.

Nevin collapsed into the arms of Billy Walsh and Zuar Antia at the final bell. Job done and Ireland's fourth medal from the last two Olympics in the bag.

Next up for the two-time AIBA World medalist and 2012 Olympic medalist is Estrada-Alvarez.

It promises to be a battle Royale between two of the most stylist and talented bantamweights in the world.

 

BARNES INTO QUARTER-FINALS AT LONDON 2012 Sat 04/08/2012 15:46

Paddy Barnes is three, three minute rounds away from becoming the first boxer in the 101-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to win two medals at the Olympic Games.

The Irish light-flyweight, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, beat Thomas Essomba of the Cameroon 15-10 this afternoon to reach the 49kg quarter-final at the 2012 Olympics in London.

He’ll now meet India’s Singh Laishram next Wednesday evening knowing that a win will guarantee him at least another bronze.

Laishram forced Mongolia’s Serdamba Purevdori, a silver medal winner at the 2008 Olympics and a gold and bronze medal winner at the 2009 and 2011 AIBA World Championships, into a standing count in the third en route to a 16-11 win today.

Barnes and Laishram sparred when the IABA hosted India at a training camp at the National Stadium in Dublin last month.

“It was a very good performance from Paddy, very good, said Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

“The first fight is always difficult and he has that one out of the way now. Paddy has been in great form since he left the training camp in Dublin and he’s boxing very well. The next one is for a medal. They will all be boxing for medals next time.”

Barnes, working behind his trademark tight defence and popping out left jabs like a piston, took the first round 5-3 against Essomba, the pick of the punches being a wicked left which rocked the AIBA World number four ranked African back on his heels.

The 2010 European and Commonwealth champion, who was boxing for the first time at these Games as he received a bye into the last-16,  increased that lead to 11-7 by the end of the second.

Essomba, who looked dangerous throughout, finally got the Holy Family BC stand out near the ropes in this frame.

But, Barnes, showing his vast experience, ducked out under the punches and was back in his opponents face before he’d barely had time to turn around.

The third frame saw a first for Irish boxing – Barnes briefly walking around with his hands by his sides and occasionally adopting a southpaw stance.

However, in between the slight change of tactics, the Irish Elite champion also found the target four times to seal an impressive win, Ireland’s second 15-10 decision at these Olympics.

Today’s victory sees the Ulsterman join John Joe Nevin, Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan in the quarter-finals.

All four will be in action on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in what will be a crucial 96-hours for Irish boxing.

 

MIXED FORTUNES AT 30TH OLYMPIAD Fri 03/08/2012 23:47

Michael Conlan is through to the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympic Games following an impressive win at the ExCel in London tonight.

But Adam Nolan bowed out despite an heroic performance in his battle of the southpaws with Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy, a silver medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan.

Conlan hammered out an 19-8 decision over Ghanaian flyweight Duke Akueth Micah on his Olympic debut.

He’ll now meet France’s Nordine Ouballi in a repeat of their 2011 AIBA World Championships clash which the Irish Elite champion won 20-17 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Ouballi, who was also beaten by Conlan (18-16) in a Round Robin in France this summer, edged out (19-18) 2007 AIBA World champion Raushee Warren (USA) tonight.

Conlan, switching from orthodox to southpaw, took the opening frame of tonight’s duel with the durable African 5-2, two excellent rights and one thudding left helping the Ulsterman to a three-point advantage.

That lead was stretched to 12-5 by the end of the second, Conlan, still switching, picking off some wonderful shots before adding another seven points to his total in the third and restricting the hard-working Micah to just three.

It was a faantastic display from the 20-year-old – who had his parents and brother amongst the vociferous Irish fans at the ExCel  – on his Olympic debut, and he’s now joins John Joe Nevin and Katie Taylor in the last-eight at the 30th Olympiad.

“I’ve got a fight under my belt and hopefully I can keep it going now. I was confident from the beginning, I’m always confident because I know I have the ability to beat anybody, said Conlan.

“The belief that the team gives me and Zuar and Billy give me is great because they really do boost my confidence. He’s (Nordine Ouballi) a quality opponent. It’s going to be a hard fight, but I’m confident in my ability and confident in the coaching staff we have behind us.”

Conlan will meet Ouballi next Tuesday evening. If he wins then he will become the second boxer from the St John Bosco BC in Belfast to win an Olympic medal as the great Freddie Gilroy claimed bronze at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, one of four Irish boxers to finish in podium positions at that particular Olympiad.

Meanwhile, Nolan, who had already won one contest in London heading into tonight’s last-16 clash, asked plenty of questions of Zamkovoy and was just one point in arrears at the end of the first, the Wexford man rocking his opponent with a big right in the opening three minutes.

Zamkovoy knew he had to up his performance in the second, and he delivered some fine counters as Nolan continued to take the fight to his opponent. However, boxing well on the retreat, Zamkovoy took the stanza 6-4.

Nolan threw absolutely everything into the final frame as was getting through mid-way through the round, but with the Irish supporters sensing a comeback, Zamkovoy once again picked up the pace and forced the Irish Elite champion into a standing count in the final few seconds before being handed an 18-9 decision.

“We’re delighted with Michael’s win. He’s got his first fight under his belt now and that’s the main thing. Adam gave it absolutely everything against an experienced Russian and you couldn’t have asked for anything more and we’re delighted with his performance, ” said Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

2012 Olympic Games

July 28th – Last 32

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Dennis Villy Ceylan (Denmark) 21-6

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Muideen Olalekan Akanji (Nigeria) 15-6

July 29th – Last 32

69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Carlos Sanchez Estacio (Ecuador) 14-8

August 1st – Last 16

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Kanat Abutalipov (Kazakhstan) 15-10

August 2nd – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Stefan Hartel (Germany) 12-19

August 3rd – Last 16 (8.30pm session)

52kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Duke Akeuth Micah (Ghana) 19-8

69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) lost to Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia) 9-18

August 4th – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

49kg – Light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Thomas Essomba (Cameroon)

August 5th – Quarter- final (8.30pm session)

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Oscar Fierro Valdez (Mexico)

August 6th – Quarter-final (1.30pm session)

60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Queen Underwood (USA) or Natasha Jonas (Great Britain)

August 7th – Quarter-final (8.30pm session)

52kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Nordine Ouballi (France)

 

O'NEILL BOWS OUT OF 2012 OLYMPICS Thu 02/08/2012 17:43

Irish team captain Darren O'Neill lost out in his bid to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games in London today.

The Kilkenny southpaw was beaten 19-12 by  German middleweight Stefan Hartel at the ExCel this afternoon.

As expected, neither had to go looking for each in this afternoon's last-16 clash, Hartel finding the target with two solid body shots in the opening three minute to move 4-2 ahead by the bell for the end of the round.

The German soaked up some punishment from the Irish Elite champion in the opening exchanges of the second.

However, as the frame progressed he resumed picking up points with his backhand, and, continuing to work the body with lefts, held a six-point (14-8) advantage going into the third.

O'Neill went for broke in the final stanza and reduced the deficit by at least two points after pinning Hartel in a corner in the opening 30 seconds.

But the German weathered the storm en route to a deserved, if slightly generous, margin of victory.

He'll now meet Great Britain's Anthony Ogogo, an opponent O'Neill has beaten in the past, in the quarter-finals.

Ogogo advanced after shocking current AIBA World champion, Ievgen Khytrov of the Ukraine, on a double countback following an 18-18 tie this afternoon.

"All credit to him, I have to got back to the drawing board from here, said O'Neill.

"He's a very good defence. He soaks up everything you throw at him and he comes back very quickly with a right hand.

"I'm very disappointed, but I'm proud of myself as well. I gave it all I could and I'm going to walk out of here with my head held high."

Meanwhile, Indian lightweight Jai Bhagwan also bowed out today following a 16-8 reversal to Gani Zhailavov of Kazakhstan.

Bhagwan qualified for the Olympics after a 30-32 win over Ireland's David Oliver Joyce at the 2011 AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers.

Joyce was handed a harsh public warning in the final five seconds of that clash. a decision that effectively handed Bhagwan a ticket to London 2012.

Michael Conlan and Adam Nolan will both be in action on Friday evening in the last-16, followed by Paddy Barnes on Saturday.

 

 

NEVIN INTO QUARTER-FINALS AT 2012 OLYMPICS

John Joe Nevin scored five points in every round to book his ticket into the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games with an accomplished performance over Kazakhstan's Kanat Abutalipov  in London this afternoon.

The Cavan BC stand out, a two-time AIBA World bronze medalist, took the first frame 5-2, the second 5-3 and drew the third and final round 5-5 with the Kazakh southpaw before having his hand raised in victory on a 15-10 decision at the ExCel.

The Mullingar man, the type of bantamweight that looks elusive even when he's standing still, got his timing and distance spot on early in this bout and rocked Abutalipov with a left-right combo in the opening three minutes.

Switching occasionally from orthodox to southpaw, the Irish Elite champion also bossed the second frame, another combination finding the target as the Kazakh struggled to come to terms with the the hit and move tactics of the number 5 seed.

Abutalipov had a good third round, but at that stage Nevin, who found the target with a flashing left going down the final stretch, was keeping his distance and picking up insurance points en route to a five-point margin of victory.

He'll now face Mexico's Oscar Fierro Valdez in the quarter-finals next Sunday evening. The winner will be guaranteed at least bronze.

Valdez, the 2008 AIBA World Youth champion, ousted Tajikistan's Anvar Yunosov today.

Yunosov, the number 4 seed, who like Nevin won a bronze medal at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, was expected to progress from this encounter, but the unseeded Mexican upset the odds to secure an impressive 13-7 verdict and book his ticket into the last-eight.

Nevin and Valdez competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where both fighters lost out to Mongolia's Enkhbat Badar-Uugan, who went on to claim gold.

"Billy and Zuar (Irish coaches) and John got the tactics spot on for today's contest. They went in with a plan and they stuck to the plan. John boxed exceptionally well today and it was a terrific win, said Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

"The quarter-final will be a tight one as we're now at the medals stages and it is going to be tough. The support for John was fantastic here again today and there wasn't a empty seat. I think half of Ireland are over here looking for tickets."

Meanwhile, Cuba's number one seed, Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez, beat Joseph Diaz Junior of the USA today and will face Brazil's Robenilson de Jesus Vieira in the quarter-finals.

de Jesus Vieira recorded a surprise 13-11 over Russia's Sergey Vodopiyanov this afternoon and will meet either Nevin or Valdez in the semi-finals if he can see off Estrada-Alvarez.

Irish team captain Darren O'Neill will be the next Irish boxer in action. The Kilkenny southpaw is in against Germany's Stefan Haertel on Thursday afternoon and will be aiming to make it five wins in-a-row for Ireland at the Games.

The winner will meet either the Ukraine's Ievgen Khytrov, the current AIBA World middleweight champion, or Anthony Ogogo of Great Britain in the quarter-finals.

Meantime, Irish boxing is heading into its most crucial period since the Beijing Olympics. Darren O'Neill, Michael Conlan, Adam Nolan, Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin and Katie Taylor will all be between the ropes on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

2012 Olympic Games

July 28th – Last 32

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Dennis Villy Ceylan (Denmark) 21-6

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Muideen Olalekan Akanji (Nigeria) 15-6

July 29th – Last 32

69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) beat Carlos Sanchez Estacio (Ecuador) 14-8

August 1st – Last 16

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Kanat Abutalipov (Kazakhstan) 15-10

August 2nd – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Stefan Haertel (Germany)

August 3rd – Last 16 (8.30pm session)

52kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Duke Akeuth Micah (Ghana)

69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) v Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia)

August 4th – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

49kg – Light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Thomas Essomba (Cameroon)

August 5th - Quarter- final (8.30pm session)

56kg - Bantamweight - John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Oscar Fierro Valdez (Mexico)

August 6th – Quarter-final (1.30pm session)

60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Queen Underwood (USA) or Natasha Jonas (Great Britain)

 

 

Adam Nolan made it three wins in-a-row

Adam Nolan made it three wins in-a-row for Irish boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games with a 14-8 decision over Ecuadorian welterweight Carlos Sanchez Estacio in London tonight.

This evening's win maintains Ireland's unbeaten start to the 30th Olympiad and ensures that the entire Irish (male) squad are through to the last-16.

World number one Katie Taylor received a bye into the quarter-finals.

Nolan, keeping Sanchez-Estacio at bay with his raking right jab and also firing home solid lefts, took the first frame 6-3 at the ExCel.

Using much the same tactics, the Irish Elite champion stretched that lead to five points (11-6) by the end of the second.

Sanchez-Estacio, throwing caution to the wind in the third, tagged the Wexford southpaw with some good shots going down the final stretch.

But Nolan, who works as a Garda (police officer), held his composure to pick off another three points to win that round 3-2 and the contest on his Olympic debut.

He'll now meet Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy on August 3rd for a place in the quarter-finals.

Zamkovoy beat China's Qiong Maitituersun 16-11 tonight.

"The first fight at the Olympics was always going to be difficult, but Adam handled it well and won all three rounds tonight and we're delighted with the win. The squad have got off to a fantastic start,"  said Irish coach Pete Taylor, who is Nolan's coach at the Bray BC.

John Joe Nevin will be the next Irish boxer in action on Wednesday.

 

 

NEVIN AND O’NEILL GET IRELAND OFF THE MARK IN LONDON

by Bernard O'Neill on Saturday, July 28th, 2012

John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill record two wins for Ireland at the Olympic Games in London today.


 

John Joe Nevin and Irish head coach Billy Walsh

 

Irish team captain Darren O’Neill maintained Ireland’s winning start to the Olympic Games with a convincing 15-6 decision over Nigeria’s Muideen Olalekan Akanji at the ExCel in London today.

The Kilkenny southpaw edged the first 4-3, but ran away with the second, blasting in a left/right combo at the start of the frame en route to claiming the stanza 8-2 and laying the platform for a comfortable victory from a hard-punching encounter with the tall and rangy African.

Germany’s Stefan Haertel, a gold medal winner at the 2012 Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany, now awaits in the last-16 on August 2nd.

Haertel hammered out an 18-10 verdict over Enrique Collazo of Puerto Rico today.

The German middleweight lost 20-9 to the late Darren Sutherland, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, at the 2008 EU Championships in Poland.

 

Darren O'Neill

 

Earlier today, John Joe Nevin got Ireland’s campaign off to a flying start with a landslide win over Denmark’s Dennis Villy Ceylan.

The Cavan BC bantamweight dominated all three rounds to earn a 21-6 verdict.

He’ll now meet Kazakh southpaw Kanat Abutalipov in the last-16 on August 1st.

Abutalipov beat Syria’s Wessam Slamana in the corresponding bout.

The Kazakh bantamweight lost 15-2 to Nevin in the semi-finals of the 2009 AIBA President’s Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.

He did, however, beat current AIBA World champion, Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, on a countback following a 17-17 tie in the 2012 President’s Cup final in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Nevin, appearing in successive Olympiads, was always in control of today’s contest, two big rights near the end of the first securing a 5-2 lead.

The Mullingar man, repeatedly dropping home rights as Ceylan was loading up lefts, stretched that advantage to 13-4 by the end of the second, before adding another eight points to his total in the third.

“The tactics from Billy and Zuar worked very well. You always want to pull on the green jersey and make a winning start for the team, ” said Nevin.

“Two wins was always the target today and John and Darren boxed really well and we’re delighted to get off to a winning start,” added Irish team manager Des Donnelly.

Head coach Billy Walsh and Zuar Antia were working Ireland’s corner this afternoon.

Adam Nolan will be aiming to make it three in-a-row on Sunday night.

The Bray BC southpaw is in against Carlos Sanchez Estacio (Ecuador) in the welterweight class.

 

 

2012 Olympic Games

.July 28th – Last 32 (1.30pm session)

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Dennis Villy Ceylan (Denmark) 21-6

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Muideen Olalekan Akanji (Nigeria) 15-6

July 29th – Last 32 (8.30pm session)

69kg – Welterweight – Adam Nolan (Ireland) v Carlos Sanchez Estacio (Ecuador)

August 1st – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

56kg – Bantamweight – John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Kanat Abutalipov (Kazakhstan)

August 2nd – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

75kg – Middleweight – Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Stefan Haertel (Germany)

August 3rd – Last 16 (8.30pm session)

51kg – Flyweight – Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Duke Akueth Micah (Ghana) or Jason Olivier Lavigilante (Mauritius)

August 4th – Last 16 (1.30pm session)

49kg – Light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Abdelali Darra (Morocco) or Thomas Essomba (Cameroon)

August 6th – Quarter-final (1.30pm session)

60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Queen Underwood (USA) or Natasha Jonas (Great Britain)

 

 

 

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