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Andy Lee sends message to “stars of tomorrow”

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The World Youth Championships kick off tomorrow in St Petersburg. It will be a quiet opening day for the nine-man Ireland team, with no fighters in action until Friday. However, when the action does kick into gear in Russia, the talented squad know that they are following in the footsteps of some of Ireland’s most talented fighters.

A total of 18 Irish boxers have claimed medals at the tournament over the years. The list of medal-winners, and even participants, reads like a who’s who of Irish boxing stars. This roll of honour includes former WBO middleweight champ and Athens Olympian Andy Lee, who claimed silver at the 2002 edition of the championships in Cuba.

Here Lee won four fights before being beaten in the final by the Cuban home favourite Noelvis Veitia.

The 32 year old, who plans a return to the ring in 2017, passed on his well-wishes for the team, which includes super heavyweight Kevin Sheehy from Lee’s old amateur club of St Francis’s.

The Limerick southpaw told that “the World Youth Championships is a great platform for young boxers. It’s an indicator of who will be the stars of tomorrow.”

“You only have to look at previous Irish boxers who have medaled in the championships and see what careers they’ve gone on to have.”

“I wish Kevin and the rest of the team the best of luck. I’m sure they’ll bring home some silverware.”

Previous Irish medalists at the World Youth Championships:
1987 – Eamonn Loughran (silver)
1987 – Denis Galvin (bronze)
1989 – Eamonn Magee (silver)
1992 – Neil Sinclair (bronze)
1998 – Harry Cunningham (silver)
2000 – Coleman Barrett (bronze)
2002 – Andy Lee (silver)
2008 – Ray Moylette (gold)
2008 – Jamie Kavanagh (silver)
2008 – Tommy McCarthy (bronze)
2008 – Davey Joe Joyce (bronze)
2010 – Joe Ward (gold)
2010 – Ryan Burnett (silver)
2011 – Katie Rowland (bronze)
2011 – Michaela Walsh (bronze)
2012 – Kurt Walker (bronze)
2013 – Christina Desmond (silver)
2015 – Natasha Logan (bronze)

Irish World Youth Championships 2016 squad:
49kg Jordan Moore (Glasnevin)
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard)
56kg Eamer Coughlan (Riverstown)
60kg Patrick Donovan (OLOL)
64kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic)
69kg Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) (Captain)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
81kg Christopher O’Reilly (Bracken)
91+kg Kevin Sheehy (St Francis)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: