Katie Taylor has received a bye into the quarter-finals at the Olympic Games.
The number one seed will meet either Queen Underwood of the USA or Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas at the ExCel venue in London early next month looking to secure the win that will guarantee at least a bronze medal.
Taylor, the current AIBA World lightweight champion, has beaten Underwood three times in the past and recorded a 6-3 victory over Liverpool southpaw Jonas – who beat Seattle-native Underwood (23-15) at the Olympic Test Event at the ExCel last December – in the semi-finals of the 2011 Strandja Memorial in Pazerdjik, Bulgaria.
Taylor recorded landslide wins over Underwood at the National Stadium in Dublin and at the Arch Centre in Kildare in 2009 when Ireland beat the USA over two internationals.
She also beat the American 18-16 en route to gold in the semi-finals of the AIBA World Championships in Barbados in 2010.
Taylor will meet either Jonas, who was beaten 18-10 by Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the semi-finals of 2012 AIBA World Championships – Taylor beat Ochigava 11-7 in the final -, or Underwood on August 6th one win away from guaranteeing Irish boxing its 13th Olympic medal.
Jonas and Underwood clash on August 5th.
Meanwhile, Paddy Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, and Michael Conlan have both received byes into the round of 16 in the light-flyweight and flyweight classes.
Barnes will face either Abdelali Darra of Morocco or Thomas Essomba of the Cameroon on August 4th, while Conlan will “duke” it out with either Duke Akueth Micah of Ghana or Jason Olivier Lavigilante of Mauritius on August 3rd.
Surprisingly, John Joe Nevin, who is currently ranked 4th in the World by AIBA, did not get a bye in the bantamweight class.
Nevin claimed bronze medals at the 2011 and 2009 AIBA World Championships in Baku and Milan. The Irish Elite champion champion will now face Denmark’s Dennis Villy Ceylan tomorrow (July 28th) in the round of 32.
Nevin beat Ceylan 17-9 en route to gold in the quarter-finals of the 2008 EU Championships in Poland.
The Dane has also been beaten twice in the recent past by Ireland’s David Oliver Joyce and Ryan Lindberg.
Irish team captain Darren O’Neill is also in action tomorrow versus Nigerian middleweight Muideen Olalekan Akanji, while Adam Nolan is in against Carlos Sanchez Estacio of Ecuador in the welterweight class on Sunday.
Nevin (4th bout) and O’Neill (8th bout) will be on the Saturday afternoon session which begins at 1.30pm at the ExCel.
Nolan (8th bout) will be between the ropes on Sunday’s evening session which begins at 8.30pm.