Paddy Barnes has been given an ideal opening contest as he sets out on his bid to claim gold at the World Championships in Milan.
The light-flyweight division — under threat from entry into the Olympics due to the inclusion of women’s boxing — looks wide open with Olympic and World champion Zou Shimming out of the reckoning.
Zou was always the man to beat in the division and as Barnes says, “there’s five or six of us who could win”.
The Belfast man should progress without too much trouble when he faces Kenyan Peter Munka, though he will then probably meet Cuban Daniel Ramos.
Today, fellow Ulsterman Cathal McMonagle starts his super-heavy campaign against tough Croatian Thomas Markovic.
Flyweight Declan Geraghty and light-welter Phil Sutcliffe are also in action.
51Kg: Declan Geraghty (Ireland) v Manyo Plange (Ghana); 64Kg: Philip Sutcliffe (Ireland) v Tralan Lupu (Romania); 91+Kg: Cathal McMonagle (Ireland) v Thomas Markovic (Croatia); 48Kg: Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Peter Munka (Kenya); 54Kg: John Joe Nevin (Ireland) v Ramir Najafou (Azerbaijan); 57Kg: David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Wuttichai Masuk(Thailand);
60Kg: Eric Donovan (Ireland) v Dakhodir Karimov (Tajikistan); 69Kg: Willie McLaughlin (Ireland) v Come Ndyishmiye (Burundi); 75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) v Ranjan Shlpakar (Nepal); 81Kg: Ken Egan (Ireland) v Muhammad Sutani Quadir (Afghanistan); 91Kg: Con Sheehan (Ireland) v Osmai Duarte Acosta (Cuba).