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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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Last chance saloon for Irish Olympic boxing hopefuls

Seven fighters are in Trabzon, Turkey, to compete for a place at this year’s Games.

Paddy Barnes in action.
Paddy Barnes in action.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

IRELAND’S ELITE BOXING squad arrived in Turkey yesterday ahead of this weekend’s crucial London 2012 qualifiers.

There are seven fighters competing over the final weekend with Paddy Barnes, David Oliver Joyce, Ross Hickey, Adam Nolan, Joey Ward, Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan all in action.

Although the draw will not be made until tomorrow, light-flyweight and Olympic bronze medallist Barnes and lightweight Joyce know they need a top four finish while light-welterweight Ross Hickey and heavyweight Tommy McCarthy must win gold if they are to be at the Games later this year.

European champion Joe Ward, who overcame Kenny Egan in the national finals in February, will be part of Ireland’s Olympic team if he can get as far as the finals in the light-heavyweight category.

“Everyone is raring to go and looking forward to competition and hopefully we will make some inroads into qualification. It’s going to be very,  very tough. It’s an Olympic qualifier at the end of the day and it’s all coming down to this week, ” head coach Billy Walsh told the Irish Amateur Boxing Association website.

“The only prediction I have is that we will be giving it everything. We will be laying everything on the line to try and gain qualification and hopefully we get a little bit of luck along the way.”

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Ben Blake

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