Paddy Barnes & Michael Conlan edge closer to Rio qualification

Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes
Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes both won bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympics

Belfast boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan moved closer to booking their Olympic Games berths by winning their latest World Series contests in Milan.

Twice Olympic bronze medallist Barnes earned a 50-45 win over Leandro Zarate Junior while Conlan beat Ignacio Perrin also on a unanimous verdict.

Barnes is now first in the World Series light-flyweight rankings with Conlan second in the bantamweight ratings.

The top ranked light-fly and leading two bantamweights will qualify for Rio.

Both Irish fighters have one bout each left in Venezuela on 18 April.

Barnes won bronze medals at both the Beijing and London Olympics Games.

The light-flyweight, like Conlan representing the Italian Thunder team in the World Series, was rarely troubled as he took his sixth straight win in the competition while Conlan also dominated his contest.

If they don't manage to gain Olympic qualification through the World Series route, there will be a number of other avenues open to both to earn progression to Rio.

Conlan, who recently celebrated becoming a father, took flyweight bronze at the London Games three years ago before moving up to the bantamweight division.