Irish boxing legend Michael Carruth wants to loose the honour of being the last Irish person to have Olympic Gold draped around his neck in next years Olympics.
Carruth defeated Cuban Juan Hernandez in the welterweight final at Barcelona ‘92 to win a special place in Irish sporting history, but feels its time he was replaced as Ireland’s last gold medallist.
The Driminagh boxing club stalwart was underdog against four time world amateur champion, Hernandez, but believes the current Irish squad have the structures in place to ensure they kind of preparation that shouldn’t see them fearing any fighters.
Indeed. despite the fact we only have Michael Conlon, Daren O’Neill and John Joe Nevin qualified Carruth is predicting gold medals in London 2012.
“I’m expecting gold medals,” Carruth told the Irish Examiner “Bronze is lovely, silver is lovely but we have to start expecting gold medals. It will be 20 years since I won. These lads have everything they need, from high performance training, physiotherapy, nutrition, core training, training camps, competition like you wouldn’t believe. So I’m expecting golds. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t pick up a gold medal. We need to get that monkey off our back. It’s a bit of a gorilla at the moment. I like Michael Conlon, I like John Joe Nevin. Always look for the little lads.”
If Ireland is to win Gold surely three time world champion Katie Taylor is the countries best bet. Woman’s boxing’s greatest amateur is tipped to top a podium in London and continue her brilliant rise to the top.
However, Carruth is anti hype and is preaching caution. The Olympic gold medallist emphasises Taylor faces a tougher task than most are predicting and warns Taylor has yet to qualify.
“I’d just say that the media should let her alone and qualify first and then we’ll address the Olympics. What people don’t realise is there’s only three boxing categories (in the women’s section). There’s 51, 60 and 75kg. So anyone who’s in the 64kg will be trying to move down to 60. Any world champion or runner-up in the 57kg will be moving up, so (Katie) could be up against two world champions, along with herself, and three runners-up. But she’s got all the pedigree. She’s done everything that’s been asked of her, she’s always rose to the top.”