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Irish Amateurs Eying AIBA World Championship Tourney

Tommy Murphy, President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, believes that Ireland's ten-man squad have the talent and the experience to secure Olympic places from the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Azerbaijan.

The World Championships, which begin in Baku in 20 days time, will also act as the first major qualifier for the London 2012 Olympics.

"Everyone involved with Irish boxing wishes our lads the very best of luck and the World Championships, said the IABA President, speaking at today's press conference at the National Stadium gym at the National Stadium in Dublin.

"Our boys are really up for this as I've seen so far. You only had to go by last Friday's bout between Ray Moylette and Ross Hickey to show you that. You could send any of these two kids away and they'd do a job.

"We have a very good team, there is no two ways about that. We can see that from their fantastic performances at the Europeans and the various internationals so far. They are in top form and we're all looking forward to the World Championships."

Team manager Des Donnelly added: "This is one of the strongest squads we've sent anywhere, if not the strongest. When you look down the list of our boxers we have Olympic medalist, World medalists and
European medalists. They all have terrific experience at this level and I think they will do very well in Baku."

"The lads performed very well at the European Championships, but that was in June. We have to do it all again at the World Championships. We have six lads in the top eight in Europe. If they're in that position again in Baku then we're looking at Olympic qualification," said Irish head coach Billy Walsh.

Ken Egan, a silver medal winner at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, has been named Irish team captain for Baku.

The Irish squad will leave for a training camp in Cologne with the hosts Germany, Holland, Romania and Moldova on September 11th.

The squad will travel straight from Cologne to Baku. Boxing begins at the 2011 AIBA World Championships on Monday, September 26th.

Five boxers have already qualified for the London Games through the World Series of Boxing Individual Championships.

There will be one final Olympic qualifier for European male boxers in April 2012 in Istanbul.

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