European gold medal winner Gabriel Dossen won’t fight in this weekend’s National Elite Championships.
The extremely talented Olympic Galway fighter entered the tournament at 80kg and was initially drawn against Jason Clancy, whom he was set to face in the National Stadium this Friday.
However, the Galway fighter, who transitioned from middleweight to light heavy ahead of this tournament, is no longer in the semi-final line-up. Clancy now receives a walkover.
Kevin Byrne of the Irish Sun broke the news on Saturday that some past out-of-the-ring issues have resulted in a six-month suspension for the Westerner. Some may feel that these repercussions seem harsh, especially considering the issues, which were subsequently ruled on in court, date back to before he won gold at the Europeans. Indeed, they date back to before he won his last Elite title in 2021.
Dossen’s absence kills all hope of a Keyln Cassidy v Dossen final. If both came through their respective final-four clashes the close friends would have met in what would have proved one of the more eagerly anticipated finals of recent times.
It also severely hampers Dossen’s Olympic hopes. If the suspension is indeed six months as reported the 22-year-old will have a fight on his hands to be selected to represent Ireland at the European Games, which act as an Olympic Qualifier, in June.
If Cassidy wins the Elites he will most likely retain #1 spot at the weight, although the IABA may do some in-house assessments between now and selection.
Dossen isn’t the only high-profile casualty from the initial entry list, his club mate World Champion Lisa O’Rourke pulled out of the 66kg class because of a hand injury, Jude Gallagher also did not make the draw, and double Commonwealth Games silver medallist Carly McNaul withdrew before her proposed semi-final clash with Caitlin Fryers last weekend.