Fifth Irish boxer secures shock World Championships qualification

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Ireland will have a surprise fifth boxer at the upcoming World Championships in Hamburg which start next month.

The sole qualification route for the tournament was the European Championships which took place in Kharkiv, Ukraine last month in which the boxers who reached the quarter finals secured their spots in Germany.

Ireland gained four places here, with light heavyweight Joe Ward, bantamweight Kurt Walker, flyweight Brendan Irvine, all claiming medals and light welter Sean McComb being harshly edged out in the last eight.

However, it was today confirmed that Tipperary super heavyweight Dean Gardiner will also be making the trip.

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The Clonmel fighter was knocked out of the Europeans at the Last 16 stage, being beaten by home favourite Viktor Vykhryst.

Gardiner defeated the same opponent in the quarter finals of the World AOB Olympic qualifier in Azerbaijan, and was leading on the cards here until being stopped with a massive shot in the second round, which seemingly eliminated his World Championships hopes.

Vykhryst would subsequently claim gold, beating Britain’s Fraser Clarke in the final. The English boxer has however suffered an injury and will no longer be able to participate at the World Championships.

With Gardiner being the fighter to lose to the European Championships winner in the Last 16, he has now been given Clarke’s place in Hamburg.

The IABA and Gardiner were informed of the change last week, and the news was confirmed to media today at an open workout at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown.

The World Championships will run from August 25th to September 2nd.

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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