As was revealed by the Irish News earlier today, Elite bantamweight champion and European bronze medalist Kurt Walker is OUT of this month’s tournament.
The Canal BC star has been forced to withdraw and will not weigh in on Sunday due to a broken thumb sustained in sparring.
Preliminary rounds take place next week at the Dockers club, with the finals night making a big return to the Ulster Hall on Friday November 24th.
In what is good news for the unlucky Walker, the tournament is not the sole determinant of selection for the Northern Irish team that will travel to Australia next April for the Commonwealth Games.
While the Ulsters will play a major role in who is picked for the team, it is assumed that, considering his Elite status, Walker will be at the very least afforded an opportunity to box-off against whoever emerges victorious in two weeks time.
The 22 year old won his third consecutive Irish Elite title in February and his first major international medal in June – claiming European bronze in Ukraine. Lisburn’s Walker also fought at the World Championships in Germany in August.
Entry lists and intended weights are largely unknown at present, but with Walker now out of the frame, the path could be clear for the likes of National Elite Senior Championships competitor Éamonn McNally or Commonwealth Youth bronze medalist Colm Murphy to win the provincial championships.