Anticipation was high ahead of quarter-final Saturday at the 2015 World Boxing Championships in Doha, and with British boxing hero Amir Khan watching on from the stands, the action inside the ring lived up to expectations.

Ireland’s WSB star Michael Conlan may have already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but he clearly wasn’t short on motivation for his match against Azerbaijan’s talented 18-year-old Tayfur Aliyev. A series of lethal punches in the second round overwhelmed his young opponent, setting up a semi-final against Belarusian Dzmitry Asanau on Sunday.

“I felt nice and relaxed in there and I’m happy with my performance. I came out here for the gold. Gold is always my target no matter what tournament I enter,” said Conlan after the bout.

Uzbekistan’s Rustam Tulaganov looked relaxed going into his bout against number one seed Erislandy Savon but despite pushing the Cuban hard, and having him on the canvas in the third round, Savon made it through to the semi-finals 3:0. At the same time over in Ring B, the big Russian Evgeny Tishchenko made light work of despatching Netherlands’ Roy Korving and will face Ukraine’s Gevorg Manukian in the second semi-final.

Earlier on in the session, the home crowd had got right behind their bantamweight medal hope Hakan Erseker, but he couldn’t overcome India’s Shiva Thapa, who must now face Murodjon Akhmadaliev. And so it was down to the bout of the afternoon between Michael O’Reilly and Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly to really set the crowd alight, the Irishman managing to hold off a stern challenge from the youngster and will now face Bektemir Melikuziev in Sunday’s semi-final.