Irish Amateur Boxing Association - World Series of Boxing Update
By Special to Doghouse Boxing (Jan 15, 2013)
Irish Elite champion Michael Conlan will be aiming to make a positive start to his World Series of Boxing (WSB) career this week - but a current European champion and AIBA 2011 World Championships silver medallist is standing in his way.
Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012, makes his eagerly anticipated WSB debut for the USA Knockouts at York Hall, London on Thursday night against Wales' Andrew Selby of the British Lionhearts.
The five-round Celtic derby at the spiritual home of British boxing is a repeat of the 2011 AIBA World Championships flyweight quarter-final which Selby edged 25-24 won en route to silver in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The pair, who have moved up to bantamweight for the WSB, qualified for London 2012 by virtue of reaching the last-eight in the Azeri capital. They also occupy No.1 and No.3 berths in the AIBA World flyweight rankings, Selby commanding pole position.
Conlan, 21, can't wait to answer an opening bell in the WSB, and the St John Bosco BC (Belfast) ace acknowledged that Selby, who has won two from two for the Lionhearts this season, is a formidable opponent.
He said: "Selby is a top class boxer; he has been very impressive in the competition so far. We know each other very well and have fought each other before; he has incredible speed and fitness.
“I am feeling great at the moment and know I can win on Thursday. I really enjoy the professional style of WSB, it suits my style better. I also really enjoy not wearing the headgear and vest".
Meanwhile, two Olympic silver medallists cross swords at the Bethnal Green venue on Thursday evening.
Ireland's John Joe Nevin and France's Daouda Sow, finalists at the 30th and 29th Olympiads in London and Beijing, meet over-five rounds at lightweight.
Nevin will be seeking to bounce back from his split decision reversal to Serbia's Branimir Stankovic last time out. Sow also suffered defeat in the WSB this season, the French lightweight dropping a unanimous decision to Volodymyr Matviychuk of the Ukraine.
Current European champion Joe Ward (Moate BC, Co. Westmeath) meets Croatia's Marko Calic in England's capital looking to improve to three wins from three this term.
If the 2009 and 2010 AIBA World Junior and Youth champion - he's yet to drop a round in the WSB - does see off the challenge of Calic he’ll edge a step closer to the summit of the WSB Individual light-heavyweight rankings.
The 19-year-old southpaw, who will be targeting a third Irish Elite 81kg title in-a-row in Dublin next month, wants to see the Lionhearts go all the way in the World Series.
He said: "I am thoroughly enjoying WSB and I really like the five round format. I feel it suits my style as you do not have to rush to a fast start and it gives me time to establish my authority on the bout".
On team spirit, he added: "I enjoy boxing as part of a top level team in an exciting and competitive league. There is a bit of added pressure and excitement knowing that you are boxing not only for yourself, but also for the team. As a team we hope to go all the way this year.
"The support has been really good so far and improving with every match. York Hall is an iconic boxing venue and I look forward to boxing there".
The Lionhearts, unbeaten at home this season, can reclaim second spot in Group B with victory on Thursday. The Knockouts are bottom of the six-team group.
Tickets are still available for Thursday's York Hall match. For information visit http://britishlionhearts.com/tickets www.britishlionhearts.com
British Lionhearts v USA Knockouts York Hall, London January 17th (8pm)
Bantamweight (54kg): Andrew Selby v Michael Conlan
Lightweight (61kg): John Joe Nevin v Douda Sow
Middleweight (75kg) Kaupo Arro v William Williams
Light-heavyweight (85kg): Joe Ward v Marco Calic
Heavyweight (91kg+): Joe Joyce v Gibson Avery
For much more Boxing news updates, visit the home page HERE at Doghouse Boxing. Also make sure to follow Doghouse Boxing's news wire