Brendan Irvine: The Standout Irish Boxer at Tokyo 2021
“Olympic Torch” (CC BY 2.0) by Noel Reynolds
The world of professional boxing has some mouthwatering fights in store but, for the next few weeks, the focus will be on the amateurs. The Tokyo Olympics eventually makes a tentative start later this month and Ireland will be well represented in the ring.
Much of the attention will rest on the team captain: Brendan Irvine is the only fighter in the team to have previously competed at an Olympic Games and he’s in good shape to pick up a medal this time around.
Known as the Weerooster, Brendan Irvine is 25 years old and he competes in the flyweight division. Selected for Rio as a youngster in 2016, he would lose out to eventual gold medallist Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan.
It was a lot to ask of the 20 year old five years ago but it was a great experience for the Irishman who has enjoyed greater success since that point. Having enjoyed his first taste of major senior competition, Brendan Irvine has gone on to win bronze at the European Championships in Kharkiv and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
It’s a promising record but there is room for improvement so should Ireland consider Irvine to be their best chance of boxing gold in Tokyo?
The Olympic Games is an exciting event for the betting community too with so many disciplines and hundreds of countries taking part. Boxing markets will be particularly active with olympic betting sites attached to sbo.net getting their odds up nice and early.
With a record of bronze and silver medals behind him, Brendan Irvine may not be the runaway favourite to win gold in Japan but he will carry relatively short odds in comparison to the rest of the field.
As the competition begins, boxing odds will switch to the live markets and sbo.net will update them regularly to reflect any changes. News on the Olympics as a whole will also be accessible along with any opinions that the team may have. There will also be an opportunity to take readers’ interests a step further thanks to a panel of sportsbooks with a choice of funding options and customer service facilities. Many of those operators have generous sign up offers in position.
It’s a useful portal for boxing moving forward but are there any alternatives to Brendan Irvine for Irish boxing fans?
Completing the Team
It’s a compact Irish unit travelling to Tokyo with flyweight Irvine named as the team captain. Seven fighters in total will be involved as the skipper is joined by Aidan Walsh, Michaela Walsh, Kellie Harrington, Aoife O’Rourke, Kurt Walker and Emmet Brennan.
The Walsh’s are brother and sister with Aidan picking up gold in the light welterweight division of the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015. Since then, the 24 year old has stepped up to welterweight and has since claimed silver at the senior Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Michaela Walsh also won a silver medal at the Gold Coast in 2018 in the women’s featherweight division. At 28, she’s one of the more senior Irish boxers on the plane to Tokyo and was unlucky to lose out in the women’s Commonwealth Flyweight final to Nicola Adams in 2015.
Meanwhile, Kurt Walker could be the man to watch after claiming gold in the men’s bantamweight division at the 2019 European Championships in Minsk. 26 year old Walker has a host of medals at this weight and has the experience, despite the fact that this is his first Olympic Games.
Irish fight fans looking for a World Champion should switch their attention to Kellie Harrington. Equally comfortable in the lightweight and light welterweight divisions, Harrington claimed lightweight gold for Ireland at the 2018 World Championships in New Delhi.
Aoife O’Rourke is also a gold medal winner with her success coming in the women’s middleweight division of the 2019 European Championships.
Overall, this is a small but very talented team and there is scope for more than one boxer to climb the podium in Tokyo. Brendan Irvine is the leader of the pack but there are six boxers behind him who can make Ireland proud at this summer’s games.