Michael Conlan ensures at least bronze at World Championships

2012 Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan
Michael Conlan has already booked his place at next year's Olympics

Michael Conlan is assured of at least a bronze medal at the World Boxing Championships in Doha after winning his quarter-final in style on Saturday.

The Belfast bantamweight was in control of his bout against Tayfur Aliyev of Azerbaijan throughout and won all three rounds on all three judges' cards, posting a 30-27 victory.

European champion Conlan has already qualified for next year's Rio Olympics.

Light flyweight Brendan Irvine lost his quarter-final to Joahnys Argilagos.

Irvine fought well but had no answer to his Cuban opponent's tight defence and scoring punches.

The Belfast fighter lost each round 10-9, though one judge did award him the final round as he battled hard against elimination one fight before the medal bouts.

Conlan now has his sights set on upgrading his world bronze for silver at least in the semi-finals.

Ireland medal winners

Ireland's other two remaining hopefuls, Michael O'Reilly and Joe Ward, also won through to the semi-finals and ensured at least bronze medals.

O'Reilly, the current European Games and Irish middleweight champion, ranked seventh in the world, defeated Kazakhstan's Zhanubek Alimhanuly, the world middleweight champion, via a split decision.

The Kazakh second seed won Asian Games gold in 2014 but didn't finish amongst the medals at the Asian Confederation Championships this year after going out at the last-eight stage.

Ireland's best gold medal prospect is light-heavyweight Ward and he made the last four by defeating Mikhail Baudhaliavets of Belarus on a unanimous 3-0 decision.

World number five Ward also beat Baudhaliavets on a unanimous decision en route to gold in the quarter-finals of the European Elite Championships in Bulgaria in August.

Ireland have now secured a record haul of three World Championship medals and Conlan and O'Reilly will be in semi-final action on Sunday.

Ward will face Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan in the last four on Monday.

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