Irish team captain Darren O’Neill meets Germany’s Stefan Hartel at London 2012 tomorrow afternoon.
Irish head coach Billy Walsh has come up with a “revolutionary” new tactic for Irish team captain Darren O’Neill versus Stefan Hartel – he wants to see the Kilkenny southpaw hit the German middleweight more that he gets hit!
O’Neill meets Hartel in the last-16 of the Olympics Games at the ExCel in London tomorrow afternoon.
The Irish Elite champion will be seeking to make it five wins on-the-trot for Ireland at the Games.
Hartel has won gold at the last two Chemistry Cup tournaments in Halle, Germany. The SV Lichtenberg club-man, who lined out with Ken Egan and Con Sheehan with the Leipzig Leopards in the World Series of Boxing last season, lost to the late Darren Sutherland, a bronze medal winner for Ireland at the 2008 Olympics, in the semi-finals of the 2008 EU Championships in Poland.
Both boxers sparred at a training camp in Germany in the lead up to London 2012, and Billy Walsh, who will be working Ireland’s corner along with Zuar Antia on Thursday, reckons it will be tough.
“He’s (Darren) in great form and he’s looking forward to it. We have a tough task on our hands and a big challenge, but he’s really up for it, said Walsh in an interview following John Joe Nevin’s win earlier today.
“How will you combat the German”?
“We’re going to try and hit him more than he hits us,” quipped Walsh.
Always a good idea in boxing, going forward.
O’Neill, who won silver at the 2012 European Championships and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 AIBA World Championships, and Hartel will be in the ring at approximately 1.45pm on Thursday.
Meantime, Belfast flyweight Michael Conlan, who received a bye into the last-16, will make his debut versus Ghana’s Duke Akeuth Micah on Friday evening.
Micah booked his ticket for London 2012 after finishing in third spot at the African qualifiers in Casablanca. He’s already recorded one win at the ExCel this week.
Wexford welterweight meets Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy, also on Friday night.
Zamkovoy beat Ireland’s Willie McLaughlin in the quarter-finals of the AIBA World Senior Championships on his way to the 69kg final in Milan in 2009.
Meanwhile, two-time Olympian John Joe Nevin, who is just one win away from winning at least a bronze medal at the 30th Olympiad following today’s victory, told AIBA that he is aiming for the top in London.
“I am taking every fight as it comes. I am feeling relaxed and up to the challenge, I would not be here if I did not think I could go all the way. I am enjoying the experience, I met Ryan Giggs but I am hoping to meet the Williams sisters”.