EU Elite Men’s Championships to return THIS YEAR – Ireland’s strongest tournament


A major tournament in which Ireland enjoyed major success is to be revived.

The EU Men’s Elite Boxing Championships, last ran in 2014, will return this Winter.

The Spanish capital of Madrid will host the tournament which will run from November 9th to November 19th.

The tournament ran yearly from 2003 to 2009 inclusive before a five-year gap. The championships came back in 2014 but have laid dormant since. Across the eight editions of the men’s tournament, Ireland are the most successful nation and have taken home a total of 32 medals – 12 gold, 12 silver, and 8 bronze.

Previous medallists for Ireland include pro world champions Carl Frampton and Andy Lee who both won silver while Beijing Olympic hero Kenny Egan has a whopping six EU medals to his name (3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze).

At the most recent championships, Davey Oliver Joyce won his third gold medal, Darren O’Neill and Michael O’Reilly picked up silvers, and Hughie Myers claimed bronze.

With the tournament still months away, the IABA have yet officially to confirm which boxers will be sent but fighters such as Kurt Walker, Wayne Kelly, Michael Nevin, Regan Buckley, Joe Ward, Kieran Molloy, and Kirill Afanasev are all deep in training at the new High Performance Unit in Abbottstown.

The women’s tournament ran from 2006 to 2011 (inclusive) before further editions in 2013 and 2017.

The tournament is not an AIBA Rankings tournament but medalling at the EUs is still considered a major achievement on a par with the likes of the Commonwealth Games – albeit less prestigious due to the respective profiles..

The resumption of the EUs is a welcome one, especially for Irish boxers ineligible for the Commonwealth Games, considering the AIBA calendar in which 2018 is something of an empty year.

Next year there will be the European Games and Championships [which will be combined in the case of boxing] in Minsk, Belarus, before the World Championships in Sochi, Russia.

Then, in 2020, there is the big one, the Tokyo Olympics.

dpg

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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