Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan will meet African opponents at the London Olympics this weekend.
Paddy Barnes will open his account at the 2012 Olympics versus the experienced Thomas Essomba of the Cameroon on Saturday.
Essomba beat (13-10) Abdelali Darra of Morocco this afternoon to set up the weekend’s last-16 clash with the Belfast light-flyweight.
Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics – Essomba also represented his country at the 2008 Games – received a bye into the last-16.
Michael Conlan, who also received a bye, also faces an African opponent in the last-16.
The Belfast light-flyweight meets Ghana’s Duke Akueth Micah on Friday evening. Micha saw off the challenge of Jason Olivier Lavigilante (Mauritius) on an 18-14 decision on Monday night.
John Joe Nevin is the next Irish boxer in action. The two-time AIBA World medalist meets Kanat Abutalipov of Kazakhstan in the bantamweight class on Wednesday afternoon.
The Nevin versus Abutalipov 56kg duel is a repeat of the 2009 AIBA President’s Cup semi-final in Baku, Azerbaijan which Nevin won 15-2.
Irish team captain Darren O’Neill is between the ropes versus Germany Thursday, followed by his fellow southpaw and Irish team-mate Adam Nolan, and Conlan, on Friday.
Katie Taylor makes her Olympic debut against either Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas or America’s Queen Underwood at approximately 1.30pm on Monday next.
Liverpool-born southpaw Jonas and Seattle-native Underwood clash on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Irish team manager has hailed Team Ireland supporters at the ExCel venue.
“The supporters have been absolutely brilliant and they are really getting behind the team. It’s like walking into the National Stadium in Dublin.The Irish fans are creating an electric atmosphere, ” he said.
The Irish squad will have a light training session at 5pm this afternoon.
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 (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)
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 6th – Quarter-final (1.30pm session)
60kg – Lightweight – Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Queen Underwood (USA) or Natasha Jonas (Great Britain)
Irish 2012 Olympic squad
49Kg (Light-flyweight) Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC, Belfast)
52kg (Flyweight) Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC, Belfast)
56kg (Bantamweight) John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
60kg (Lghtweight) Katie Taylor (Bray BC, Wicklow)
69kg (Welterweight) Adam Nolan (Bray BC, Wicklow)
75kg (Middleweight) Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC, Kilkenny)
Team Manager: Des Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Pete Taylor
Physio: Conor McCarthy
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary
Performance Psychologist: Gerry Hussey