It’s a busy year ahead for Irish amateur boxing as the Tokyo Olympic cycle begins.
Starting us off in January are the new Under-22 Championships which run over three weekends (13th/14th, 20th/21st, and 27th/28th). The tournament runs concurrently with the National Novices.
For the U22 Men there is the added incentive that the winners will most likely be chosen to represent Ireland at the new European Under-22 Championships which will take place in Braila, Romania, from March 13th to 22nd.
The IABA have confirmed that it is their intention to place a heavy emphasis on the Under-22 age group and are urging young boxers to consider this route, and the potential for a major international tournament, rather than jumping straight into the Senior (Elites).
These Senior Elites take place in February – and it is therefore assumed that boxers who win at the National Under-22s and intend on entering the European Under-22s will not be entering the Elites. The tournament, which concludes on Friday February 17th looks set to feature something of a changing of the guard as many of the Irish Rio Olympic team will no longer feature.
In international terms, the Senior Elites will be crucial as there are two major international tournaments this year. First there are the European Championships which will take place at a to-be-confirmed location from June 14th to 26th. Any Irish boxer who achieves a quarter final finish, or better, will then qualify for the World Championships which are set to take place from August 25th to September 3rd in Hamburg, Germany.
The year will be rounded off by the Senior (Intermediate) Championships which take place in November (10th/11th, 17/18th, 24th/25th), with finals night on December 1st.
There are also two Elite internationals scheduled to take place during the year, on March 17th and October 13th.
As well as this there are also the hugely popular international tournaments ran by clubs throughout the country.
June 29th/30th & July 1st/2nd – Monsktown International Box Cup, Monsktown, Dublin
September 28th/29th/30th & October 1st – Celtic Box Cup, Dungarvan
October 5th/6th/7th – Smithfield Boxfest, Smithfield BC
October 13th/14th/15th – Esker All Female Box Cup, Esker BC
In terms of the underage boxing, the schedule is as follows:
3rd/4th/5th/10th/11th National Boy 4, Junior 1, Junior 2
Finals on March 18th
18th-22nd National Boy 1-3 Championships
5th/6th/7th/12th/13th/19th/20th National Girl 1-6 Championships
The Women’s European Youth and Junior Championships are due to take place in a to-be-confirmed location from May 12th to 21st
9th/10th/16th/17th National Junior Cadet Championships
Finals on June 23rd
7th/8th/14th/15th National Senior Cadet Championships
Finals on July 21st
The European Schoolboys Championships are due take place in a to-be-confirmed location from July 17th to 26th
The Men’s European Junior Championships are due to take place at a to-be-confirmed location from August 12th to 21st
8th/9th/15th/16th National Under 18 Championships
Finals on September 22nd
The Men’s European Youth Championships are due to take place from September 1st-12th at a to-be-confirmed location
The Women’s Youth World Championships are due to take place at a to-be-confirmed date and location in November