Bernard Dunne leaves Olympic qualification door open for Dean Gardiner

High-performance director Bernard Dunne has left the door for Dean Gardiner should the super-heavyweight want to do a retirement U-turn.

The Clonmel fighter affectionately knowns as ‘Breakfast, caught everyone off guard when he announced he was hanging the up last month.


The news was particularly surprising considering the 32-year-old big man remains just two wins away from Olympic qualification.


The domestic super-heavyweight #1, who retired citing a combination of a young family and third-level commitments, is still eligible to take up his place in the European Qualifiers.

Ireland could send another super-heavy to the World Qualifiers later in the year, but no one can take Clonmel BC fighter’s place in the European equivalent.

Former world champion and current High-Performance Director, Dunne claims Gardiner is more than welcome should he wish to return.

Speaking at the launch of Indeed Career Coach, former boxer and High-Performance Director of IABA Bernard Dunne said:

“Dean knows the door is always open for him and he knows he can come back,” said Dunne this week. “I know what it’s like when you step away from sport, the thoughts that go through your head, and sometimes you realise you miss it.

“I’ve told him if that feeling happens to not be worried about calling, just let us know straight away and we’d have him back and bring him in. He’s been a part of our team for a number of years now. It’s more important to make sure we look after him if he wanted to come in. Nothing else.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com