IABA to announce new High Performance Director on Thursday

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) will announce the new High Performance Director for the IABA High Performance Unit.

The position is being filled in line with the recommendations of the IABA’s own Tokyo 2020 strategic plan – ‘Boxing Clever’ – and Sport Ireland’s Rio Review.

The person announced on Thursday will be the IABA’s first High Performance Director since Gary Keegan, who left the post in 2007.

The position had been filled in an unofficial capacity by High Performance Head Coach Billy Walsh up until his move to Team USA in late 2015.

Technical wizard Zaur Antia stepped into both roles, Director unofficially and Head Coach officially, on an interim basis for the medal-less Rio Olympic campaign.

The Rio Games enhanced widespread consensus that a specialised High Performance Director is required to allow the coaches to focus on coaching.

In the aftermath of the Olympics, Bray-based Georgian Antia was handed the Head Coach role on a full time basis, a decision which was near-unanimously lauded.

With a Director needed, the IABA called for applicants and have spent the past few weeks interviewing candidates – including Bernard Dunne, rugby coach Eddie O’Sullivan, and a number of Americans with experience in similar roles.

The Irish Sun would report earlier this month that Dunne is to be chosen for the role, and the Dubliner is expected to be formerly announced on Saturday.

The announcement will be made at 11:00am with a press conference at the Sport Ireland Institute in Abbotstown.

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