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Conlan urges IABA to keep coaching staff

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Mick Conlan has outlined what he feels needs to be done to ensure that Ireland continues its medal-winning performances at international level.

The Belfast man won World, European, and Commonwealth gold, as well as Olympic bronze, during what has been something of a golden generation for Irish boxing.

A medal-less Olympic Games in Rio – the first major tournament in which Ireland did not claim silverware at since the 2007 Worlds in Chicago – has seen many call for change on the South Circular Road.

There will certainly be a changing of the guard, with the likes of Conlan and Paddy Barnes moving to the pros, and the Clonard man gave his thoughts on what should be done to see the Irish boxing success story continue.

24 year old Conlan feels that, first and foremost, everything possible should be done to ensure that Zaur Antia remains as head coach and that the Georgian wizard be given more support.

Conlan told Irish-Boxing.com that “the ability is there, and the coaching is there, we just need to keep the coaching there – and maybe get more of a management setup around it, and director and stuff.”

“Then let Zaur do the coaching, because he’s the best coach in the World

“That was his first tournament he went to that he’s not brought away a medal and he’s been away to so much tournamnets over the past few years and brought medals back from every single tournament, and gold medals at that.”

“For him not to bring back a medal was heart-breaking.”

The Clonard 24 year old also wants his father, John, to be handed a full-time role with the Irish team, and urged the IABA to “keep my dad there too.”

“I don’t know what his plans are yet but I think he’s happy to stay.”

“He likes his job up in Ulster [High Performance Unit], his loves that job. He’s fully dedicated too.”

“If the national team want him, they’re gonna have to pay for him, and I think they’d be smart to too.”

“He’s a fantastic coach and he works so well with Zaur.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie