Rangey middleweight Conor Wallace cut a frustrated figure in the National Stadium over the weekend.
The Newry southpaw was forced to pull out of the championships, for which he was the number one seed, due to a hand injury.
Wallace was still in Dublin for the semi finals of the tournament, and will return on Friday for the finals, to cheer on his High Performance team mates – but it’s an occasion for him that is somewhat tough to stomach.
The St Monica’s talent explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “obviously it’s hard standing here watching on while all my friends and team mates fight, and seeing them winning with me standing here doing nothing. It’s gutting after putting so much work in.”
“I’m still young, but obviously it would have been a great year – the Seniors are wide open, last year there was the world number three [Michael O’Reilly] in there, I fought him in the final.”
The injury suffered by Wallace at the tail-end of last year is a frustrating one, and he detailed how “it’s time it needs. I probably would have been safer breaking it, but it didn’t break. They told me I would have been safer breaking it. It’s just ligaments, and they’re badly bruised, so time’s the healer.”
Wallace had actually entered the tournament, but would pull out the day before fighting started. He recalled how “I had been training away, I was just hoping for the best. I was number one seed, so maybe if I got a bye it would have given me another week to heal.”
“But,coming up to it, I had to go back for a second MRI scan in Santry and they just ruled it out completely. They said they could give me a cortisol injection but it could only get me through one fight, and even then I would have been too young for it, I’m only 20.”
There is light at the end of the tunnel however, and Wallace revealed that “I’ll be back punching in three to four weeks. It’s hard, but hopefully I’ll just get this injury sorted and get back in and do my thing. I’m still training away, I haven’t stopped training.”
In terms of who will take the 75kg title this coming Friday, with Stephen Broadhurst and Emmett Brennan facing off the the final, Wallace is unsure and tentatively suggested “maybe Broadhurst, it’s hard to know.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: