Four Irish boxers have been selected to compete in the German Bundesliga.
Three of these, Stephen McKenna, John Joyce and Sean McComb will box this weekend on the opening night of the competition
The Irish trio line out for their club, BSK Hannover Seelze against BC Chemnitz 94 in Hanover on Saturday evening.
George Bates will also compete this season.
For the uninitiated, the Bundesliga is an eight team league and play-off tournament ran by the German Boxing Federation. Initially the Bundesliga is divided into two regional divisions, with Hannover in the Southern division alongside Chemnitz, Nordhäuser SV, and BC Straubing.
You may have noticed Irish boxers fighting in the tournament, indeed for the same club, earlier this year, with Bates and James Cleary posting a combined three wins, while London 2012 Olympian Nolan dropped a split decision to former European champion Balazs Bacskai of Hungary.
This season however, Ireland will be involved from the start.
Irish coach Dmitry Dimitruc.outlined that “there have been a few rule changes from last season. Last year there was a one-kilo allowance, but not this year”
“Teams must also have an under 21 [John Joyce] registered. It is a very competitive tournament. There will be six fights and if our club gets to the final there will be two more fights.”
“Fights are over three rounds.Everything is to according to AIBA Open Boxing (AOB) rules and the weigh-ins are two hours before matches begin.”
The Bundesliga is therefore similar to the World Series of Boxing, although with vests and over a shorter format, with sides using athletes from different countries under an international draft.
The Irish contingent and coach leave for Germany early tomorrow morning.
The next fixture is on January 7th 2017, again at ‘home,’ where they will face BC Straubing
Irish Squad: German Bundesliga 2016/17
Fighting for BSK Hannover
56kg Stevie McKenna (Old School)
60kg George Bates (St Marys)
64kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
75kg John Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
Coach: Dmitry Dimitruc