CORRECTION 9:07am: The initial version of this article stated that Hyde’s club, Mayfield BC, had lodged the complaint. This is untrue. Irish-Boxing.com would like to apologise to the club for this genuine error and the below article has been amended.
An ‘official complaint’ regarding the selection of the Elite Men’s team to compete at the AIBA World Championships in Russia next month.
The non-selection of Cork light heavyweight Tommy Hyde from the seven man squad for the tournament in Yektarengburg, which gloves off on September 7, has caused consternation in some circles.
Despite the fact Thomas O’Toole is reigning National Elite Champion having beaten in developing teen in the decider, Mayfield believe Hyde should have been selected.
Things have opened up at 81kg since amateur stand out Joe Ward turned pro.
Such is Ward’s talent and history at world elite level that he was a near cert to travel to Tokyo 2020 regardless of what others may have done between now and the Olympic Qualifiers.
However, since ditching the vest things have opened up considerably – and it is 19-year-old Kane Tucker, a European Schoolboys bronze and Commonwealth Youth silver medallist, who has been selected to represent Ireland in the first major tournament of the post-Wared era.
There is now a pool of contenders at 81kg including O’Toole, Tony Browne, Hyde, Tucker and Paul McCullagh Jr who have all all been mentioned as possibles for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
The team – which can be seen HERE – is said to have been selected after a three-week assessment training camp in Abbottstown.
The selection remit has yet to be explained publically by the IABA or the High Performance Unit and it’s yet to be confirmed whether or not those selected are in Olympic qualifier pole or if there is merely an element of having a look at how some fighters cope on the big stage.
Regardless there has been a lot of contention with some of the selections and the selection process. While it does have to be noted that such contention exists every Olympic cycle and detractors are ever-present, the lack of communication, not just to the press, but directly with clubs seems to have added fuel to the disgruntlement fire.
A lot of the dissension has been in house, but Hyde’s backers felt strongly enough to go public with their gripes.
A letter has been sent to IABA President Dominic O’Rourke before publishing it on social media.
The letter outlines how they have been left ‘shocked’ by the omission of their fighter and argue as the highest ranked and most experienced of the 81kg fighters available to travel to Russia he should have been selected.
They also feel 20-year-old Hyde has be ‘shunned’ by the High Performance and wasn’t invited to train with the same regularity as others at the weight. They called for the IABA to give the situation their ‘immediate attention’.
Read the letter sent to the IABA below:
Dear Dominic [O’Rourke],
We are very disappointed on hearing that Mayfield BC Boxer Tommy Hyde has not being picked to represent Ireland in the upcoming world championships. Tommy is the current national senior champion and Elite finalist. He is the highest rated 81kg boxer available for selection. Tommy has competed in fourteen elite contests in the last fourteen months winning eleven of them. He won two very prestigious Elite tournaments, the Haringey Box Cup and the Celtic Box Cup, where he also received the Best Boxer Award.
We are shocked that on learning that Kane Tucker has been chosen to represent Ireland at the World Championships as, with respects to Kane, he has competed in just one elite contest, which he lost, and never competed in the Irish Elite championship.
Tucker and Paul McCullagh have been training at the high performance for over three months, however Tommy has been invited to train at the High Performance for just four weeks. Can you please explain to us how these two boxers have been invited to train at the High Performance for all these training camps and Tommy has been shunned. Both of them have received preferential treatment. They were both chosen to represent Ireland versus Netherlands on June 7th, at Elite level, ahead of Tommy.
Tommy is the only 81kg Irish International boxer to have his hand raised in victory in 2019 when he beat the former Asian silver medalist, world no. 8 in Ukraine on July 9th.
Please give this situation your immediate attention as time is of the essence.
It should be noted that Tucker, who missed the Irish Elites through an elbow injury, has actually competed in four elite contests. Of these, he won three, including versus German golden kid Oronzo Birardi, and his sole loss came via split-decision in Holland to Dutch star Peter Mullenburg – a bout in which he knocked the Olympian down heavily.