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How local boxers Kurt Walker and Brendan Irvine can seal Olympic places on Monday evening


Ireland’s Kurt Walker

Ireland’s Kurt Walker

PA Wire/PA Images

Ireland’s Kurt Walker

Two Ulster boxers can seal qualification for the Olympic Games this evening.

Lisburn's Kurt Walker and Belfast's Brendan Irvine are both in action at the European qualifiers in London, where they can secure their spot at this summer's Games, should they go ahead, by reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Walker takes on Berlin featherweight Hamsat Shadolov while Irvine is facing Hungarian flyweight Istvan Szaka, in the evening sessions beginning at 6pm with all bouts going on behind closed doors.

According to Germany's Wexford-born head coach Eddie Bolger, Walker will have to battle down to the final bell to earn his place.

"There's a place at the Olympics on the line, and he (Shadolov) is going to give it his all," said Bolger, a former Irish coach. "To get to Tokyo we'll have to cause a few upsets."

Also in action today is Belfast's Aidan Walsh.

McNaul needs to beat England’s Charley Davison to reach the quarter-finals but, unlike for Walker and Irvine, that would not be enough to seal a spot in Tokyo.

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McNaul must finish in the top six, with a box-off between the beaten quarter-finalists deciding the final two places.

Aidan Walsh must also place in the top six but needs two wins to reach the quarter-finals and begins today against  Estonia’s Pavel Kamanin.

His sister Michaela begins in the last 16 on Tuesday.

Belfast's Carly McNaul, however, was defeated by England's Charley Davison.

There is live coverage of the day's action via the Olympic Channel right here.

Meanwhile, Emmet Brennan got Ireland off to a winning start in London after recording an inside-the-distance win yesterday.

The Dublin light-heavy stopped Radenko Tomic of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Brennan faces Switzerland's Uke Smajli next tomorrow.

Dublin light-welter George Bates progressed on points to the last 16 after his fight with Leon Dominguez was stopped late in the first round.

But Cork welter Christina Desmond bowed out at the last-16 stage to Italian Angela Carina.

Kiril Afanasev made it three wins from three for Dublin boxers as the St Petersburg-born heavyweight beat Georgia's Begadze Nikoloz on a split decision.

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