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England and Northern Ireland matched three times in draw

25 July 2002

Boxers from England are matched against Northern Ireland in three of the 12 weight divisions in the draw for the preliminary bouts.

Dave Hayes

England's David Haye will face an opponent from Pakistan

Paul Baker will face Darran Langley in the light-flyweight division (48kg), Darren Barker meets Paul McCloskey at light-welterweight (63.5kg) and Steven Birch was drawn against Connall Carmichael in the middleweight category (75kg).

Australia’s Justin Kane got a bye for the opening round and will have to overcome Ghana’s Jonathan Yartey in his first outing at bantamweight (54kg) on 27 July.

Colin McNeil of Scotland, and bronze medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, faces Kenyan Absolom Okoth, who got silver at the same Games in the welterweight division, while Canadian law student Ryan Savage meets England’s Daniel Happe, also at 67kg.

New Zealand’s heavyweight hope Shane Cameron will face Ataga Solomon of Nigeria in his first outing, while England’s David Haye was drawn against Shaukat Ali of Pakistan.

Performance director for England, Ian Irwin said:

“The draw could not have been harder for England. In five situations we will have to really compete to win it, but you have to prepare for the worst scenario and it will not deter us.”

“I don’t know anything about David Haye’s opponent at heavyweight, but we don’t mind who he meets. However, he can’t afford to get complacent.”

Paul McMahon, coach for Northern Ireland, said: “The luck of the Irish will come in the boxing ring, because we certainly haven’t had it in the draw.”

“But England would not have liked to have been drawn with us so much either. We will have a discussion with the boxers who they are meeting because we have dossiers on most of the boxers here.”

Info News Service/np/sdb

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