Ireland name squad for European Union Championships


The Irish Athletic Boxing Association have named a seven-strong Irish squad for the European Union Men’s Elite Championships in Valladoid, Spain, next month.

A strong team featurng seven reigning Elite champions will hope to add to Ireland’s medal tally – the highest of any nation – ay the tournament which was last run in 2014.

However, there is one major absence, with team captain and medal machine Joe Ward being unable to compete due to a hand injury picked up winning gold at the Nicolae Linca multi-nations in Romania last month.

5 boxers will be making their big tournament debut at senior level – Conor Quinn, Wayne Kelly, Kieran Molloy, Michael Nevin, and Kirill Afanasev – while European bronze and Commonwealth silver-winner Kurt Walker and super heavy veteran Dean Gardiner bring some experience to the team

With Elite champion Caoimhin Agyarko having turned pro and Tony Browne now at heavyweight, no replacement for Joe Ward has been selected. Additionally, no boxer is being sent at light flyweight or lightweight in seeming anticipation of the removal of these weights from the roster next year.

The seven-strong squad, along with a host of other Irish talent,are currently training at the University of Jordanstown in Belfast with Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Romania and Switzerland ahead of the start of the 9th edition of the tournament.

Irish coach John Conlan said that 74 boxers, including Olympic medallists and World and European champions and medallists, are at the camp and Team Ireland are boxing well.

The Irish squad leave for Spain on November 7th, with boxing beginning on Thursday November 8th.

In total, Ireland have won 32 medals – 12 gold, 12 silver, and 8 bronze – across the eight previous editions.

Irish squad
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard BC)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal BC)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise BC)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard BC)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise BC)
91kg Kirill Afanasev (Smithfield BC)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel BC)

Coaches: John Conlan,Eoin Pluck
Team Manager: Michael Hawkins
Physiotherapist: Seamus Caffrey
Team Doctor: Jim Clover- Team Doctor
Sports Physiologist: Damian Martin
Referee & Judge: Jim Murrin- R&J

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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