Kenny Egan has drawn tough opposition for his heavyweight debut at the world championships in Baku.
Egan has been seeded six from yesterday’s draw and gets a bye into the second and where he will meet the winner of the first round bout between Lubos Velecky (Czech Republic) and Jose Larduet (Cuba) next Monday.
Larduet, a former world youth champion.
Olympic bronze medallist, Paddy Barnes, is in the same half of the draw and likely to face his old foe Zou Shiming from China.
Barnes was seeded eight and will meet either Mark Barriga (Phillipines) or Stefan Caslarov (Albania) next Monday.
Barnes lost to Shiming at the world championships in Chicago four years ago and in the semi-finals at the Beijing Olympics.
Even if he was to lose to Zou Shiming, Barnes would more than likely qualify for London 2012 as the boxers who lose to the eventual finalists in this division will qualify along with the top eight.
Flyweight Michael Conlon meets Alexander Riscan (Moldova) tomorrow and needs three wins to be certain of qualification.
Bantamweight John Joe Nevin, a bronze medallist last time around, was seeded four and meets Filip Barak (Slovakia) or Akhil Kimar (India) on Monday. Two wins will book him a place in London.
Lightweight David Oliver Joyce meets Mohammad Momevand (Iran) on Saturday and needs three wins to be certain of his second Olympic qualification.
European light welterweight champion, Ray Moylette, meets Arturs Ahmetovs (Latvia) on Friday and also needs three wins. Welterweight Roy Sheahan, who went close to qualification in Chicago, meets Carl Hield (Bahamas) on Thursday and also needs three victories.
Darren O’Neill meets Glodi Eneste (Norway) on Saturday — a man he beat 13-2 in the EU finals in Denmark. European light heavyweight champion, Joe Ward, was seeded two for those championships and gets a bye into the second series meeting either Stoimen Dimitrov (Bulgaria) or Dilovarsho Abdurakhmonov (Tajikistan) on Sunday with two wins enough to qualify. All the big guns on the other side of the draw including world number one, Egor Mehontsev (Russia), and Imre Szello (Hungry) and Fiori Simono (Italy) who he beat the semi-finals and quarter finals at the European championships.
Con Sheehan (Clonmel), who has moved up to super heavyweight and meets Farukh Kalonov (Tajikistan) on Sunday. His next opponent will almost certainly be the Olympic and two-time world champion, Robert Cammarelle (Italy).
Billy Walsh described the draw as reasonable but said what really mattered was what comes out at the other end.
“Ok, a draw is a draw but you look at it and you have to think about what comes out at the other end. There are always going to be good and bad results but I firmly believe that we have the potential to deliver.
“Now that it’s over we are really only focusing on the first fight. We have nobody boxing tomorrow and then Michael Conlon goes into action on Tuesday.
“But, overall, it’s a reasonable draw. We have three or four fights to get us where we want to be so it is very important that we get a good start. and get some momentum going.
Extracts from an article in the Irish Examiner, by Brendan Mooney