Barnes off to a flyer at worlds

Two-time Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes edged a step closer to the medals at the AIBA World Elite Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan yesterday.

Barnes off to a flyer at worlds

But ex-European champion Ray Moylette bowed out of the tournament on a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to Kyrgyzstani Ermek Sakenov.

Barnes rattled off a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) over Serbian champion Milos Baltic in the light-fly class. He’ll now meet Kenya’s Simon Nzioki, who stopped England’s Charlie Edwards inside two minutes yesterday, for a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Barnes, who has moved up from light-fly to fly, impressed on his 52kg debut. Operating behind his trademark high guard, the 2010 European Elite champion repeatedly detonated four and five-punch combinations.

Tommy McCarthy joined Barnes in the last 16 after earning a majority 2-0 decision over Canadian heavyweight Samir El-Mais.

The finals scores were 30-26, 28-28, 29-27 to McCarthy. El-Mais, the No. 10 seed, got docked a point after receiving a public warning for holding in the third.

McCarthy will now meet No. 7 seed, Emir Ahmatovic of Germany, in the last 16.

Overall, we’ve got to be happy, added Irish coach Billy Walsh. “Two out of three, as the song goes, ain’t bad. We have a few in tomorrow and please God we can add to the victories.”

Belfast’s Michael Conlan, Donegal’s Jason Quigley and Tipperary’s Con Sheehan will be in last-32 action today in Almaty. Quigley, the current European champion, meets India’s Vijender Singh, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympics in the middleweight class, this morning.

Singh has been laid low with the flu since he arrived in Almaty, but he still managed to get one win under his belt on Thursday: “I am down with fever, cold and cough ever since I landed here. Let’s hope I recover substantially by then (for Quigley fight) and see how it goes,” said the 2010 Asian Games champion.

Sheehan is in against Yohanndi Ortega. A silver medal winner at the 2013 Cuban Nationals, Ortega claimed super-heavyweight gold at the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile in August.

Number 2 seed Conlan, a bronze medallist at London 2012, has moved up from fly to bantam for Kazakhstan and makes his world championship debut in the 56kg class against Hungary’s Kriszthan Nagy this afternoon.

Nagy dropped points decisions to Ireland’s John Joe Nevin and Sean McComb — who is fighting in the lightweight class in Almaty — this year and in 2009.

Last 32

* 52kg P Barnes (Ireland) beat M Baltic (Serbia) 3-0.

* 64kg R Moylette (Ireland) lost to E Sakenov (Kyrgyzstan) 0-3

* 91kg T McCarthy (Ireland) beat S El-Mais (Canada) 2-0

Today’s action (Last 32)

* 56kg M Conlan (Ireland) v K Nagy (Hungary)

* 75kg J Quigley (Ireland) v V Singh (India)

* 91+kg C Sheehan (Ireland) v Y Ortega (Cuba).

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