Ireland will now have five boxers at the 2017 AIBA World Elite Championships in Hamburg, Germany in August with the good news that Clonmel’s Dean ‘Breakfast’ Gardiner has now been contacted to confirm he will be taking part since the GB champion Fraser Clarke has suffered an injury and is unable to take his allotted slot in the Super Heavyweight division.
As Gardiner lost to the eventual champion ( Viktor Vykhryst) he was first in line for a place in the tournament if any other boxer was ill or injured.
Rio Olympians Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s BC, Antrim) and Joe Ward could be the first Irish boxers in action on Day 2 of the World Elite Championships in Hamburg, Germany next month, according to the IABA.
“The flyweights and light-heavyweights are in action on August 26, although Ward, the current European champion who reached the 2015 World Elite final, is likely to get a bye. Irvine, a European Elite bronze medallist, will also be seeded.
Ward (Moate BC, Westmeath) will be appearing in his fourth successive World Championships since debuting at this level as a 17-year-old in 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan where he was edged out on the dreaded countback to Iran’s Eshan Rozbahani after a 15-15 draw under the old computer scoring system.
Irvine is also a silver medallist from the 2015 European Games. The super-heavyweights are also out on August 26th in Hamburg.
Kurt Walker (Canal BC, Antrim), himself a European bronze medallist, and Sean McComb’s (Holy Trinity BC, Belfast) bantam and light-welter classes are between the ropes on August 27th.
McComb, who beat Russia’s current World Elite champion, Vitaliy Dunaytsev, not once, but twice in 2017, is pleased with his performances this season.
“I beat the World (2015) and European (2015) champion and Olympic (2016) bronze medallist this year. If I perform anywhere near as good again I’ll have a good Worlds, he said.
“I can’t remember having a bad performance this year. I got the tactics right with Zaur (Zaur Antia, Irish head coach) in the corner. There’s every chance of winning a medal.”
“All the training is backed up,” said Walker, who has his eye on another podium finish at an AIBA ranking event in Hamburg. “I know I can do it, I have the confidence now so I’m just going to do it.”
Team Ireland leave for their final training camp at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in early August”.
Before the Men’s World’s however the Irish Elite women’s team will also be in action, this time in Italy.
An eight-strong Irish squad has been confirmed for the European Union Women’s Championships in Italy.
The tournament runs from August 4th to 13th in Cascia.
World, European, Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic medallists Kellie Harrington, Christina Desmond, Michaela Walsh and Ciara Ginty have been named in the team.
Boxing begins on August 5th at the Hotel Margherita Gym.
The European Union Championships were last held in Romania in 2013 when now Pro Katie Taylor struck Gold for Ireland. Former Irish star, Austeja Aciute who used to box out of the Finn Valley club in
Donegal now represents Lithuania and could clash with the Irish elite champion, Ciara Ginty of Geesala at 64kg, a non-Olympic weight.
Team Ireland at European Union Women’s Championships Cascia, Italy August 4th/13th:
48kg Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road)
56kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown Antrim)
57kg Dervla Duffy (Ryston, Kildare)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys, Dublin)
64kg Ciara Ginty (Geesala,Mayo)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus Tullamore)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s,Cork)