You’d have got very good odds at the start of the AIBA World Championships in Almaty against Ireland, minus John Joe Nevin, having five boxers in action at the quarter final stage today.
Mick Conlan is first of the Irish in action around 10a.m and the number 2 ranked Belfast man should come out on top against the number 10 seeded Vladimir Nikitin and move on to the semi-final on Thursday.
Conlan in fact is a good bet for at least a silver in Almaty.
Around 11 am, Jason Quigley will step into the ring and though opponent Zoltan Harsca is the fourth ranked boxer at this weight Quigley has struck a rich rein of form and represents great value for a gold medal at odds of 6/1 with Boylesports.com
Tommy McCarthy should be in the ring soon after Quigley exits centre stage. McCarthy is the rank outsider among the heavyweights but odds of 12/1 do not fairly represent the progress the Belfast fighter has already made in Almaty.
Today he meets Argentinian, Yamil Peralta, the world no 2 ranked fighter and albeit the Argentinian will be strong favourite here, McCarthy is quite capable – at his very best – of causing an upset. Worth a flutter.
Paddy Barnes has moved up a weight for these championships and is up against tough Uzbekistan fighter Jasurbek Latipov around 2.15pm. This may well prove to be Barnes swansong as an amateur in major championships and if that is so he will be even more determined to go out with a Gold or Silver
Should Paddy take another medal at this tournament he will join Nevin and Katie Taylor as the only Irish boxers to have won a medal at all major Championships though for mercurial Paddy only a silver or preferably Gold will suffice. Worth a bet at 4/1 and should just edge it this afternoon.
The last of the Irish in action will be Joe Ward – his bout is scheduled for around 3.30pm. Ward has had a lack of ring action due to leg and hand injuries yet here he is in the quarter finals albeit against the no.3 world ranked Nikita Ivanov. Ward, at his best is capable of upsetting the odds and albeit after a tough battle should get through against the Russian. Odds of 4/1 for gold make him a good bet.
All times are approximate depending on earlier bouts
52kg – flyweight - Paddy Barnes (5) (Ireland) v Jasurbek Latipov (4) (Uzbekistan) 2.15pm
56kg -bantamweight – Michael Conlan (2) (Ireland) v Vladimir Nikitin (10) (Russia) 10am
75kg – middleweight- Jason Quigley (5) (Ireland) v Zoltan Harsca (4) (Hungary) 11am
81kg – light-heavyweight – Joe Ward (Ireland) (6) v Nikita Ivanov (3) (Russia) 3.30pm
91kg – heavyweight – Tommy McCarthy (unseeded) (Ireland) v Yamil Peralta (2) (Argentina) 11.30am