Ward leads Olympic qualifier squad
THE Irish Amateur Boxing Association have ratified their seven-man squad for the final Olympic qualifier for European male boxers in Turkey in April.
Paddy Barnes, Michael McDonagh, Ross Hickey, |Adam Nolan, Joe Ward, Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan will line out for Ireland by the banks of the Black Sea in Trabzon.
All seven retained their titles at the National Elite Championships at Dublin's National Stadium last Friday night. Ward beat Ken Egan 29-10 and also scooped the boxer of the Championships award.
Michael Conlan, John Joe Nevin and Darren O'Neill, who also retained their Irish titles |at the weekend, have already qualified for the Olympics.
The 2012 AIBA World Women's Championships in China in May – where Katie Taylor will be aiming for her fourth gold medal in-a-row – will act as the only Olympic qualifier for female boxers.
Irish Squad for final Olympic qualifier
49Kg: (Light-flyweight) Paddy Barnes |(Holy Family GG)
60Kg: (Lightweight) Michael McDonagh |(St Mary’s)
64Kg: (Light-welterweight) Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
69Kg: (Welterweight) Adam Nolan (Bray)
81Kg: (Light-heavyweight) Joe Ward (Moate)
91Kg: (Heavyweight) Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett)
91+Kg: (Super-heavyweight) Con Sheehan (Clonmel)