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Ireland’s #1 – Jack Marley eyes Elite title following break-out European U22 bronze

Winning a European Under-22 Championship bronze medal in your first adult tournament is the stuff of dreams but not quite THE dream come true for Jack Marley.

The 18-year-old, who exploded onto the scene in Italy last week, has had one immediate goal and it’s not continental gold. It’s not world or Olympic gold either – it’s an Irish senior title.

Heavyweight Marley has his sights set on a National Elite title and Kirill Afanasev’s #1 spot – and makes that the priority when asked about Paris 2024 and Olympic aspirations.

“It meant more than anyone could imagine bringing a medal home to Monkstown BC. My dream is to win an Elite title and that will never change,” he tells following a sensational couple of weeks in Roseto degli Abruzzi.

Marley was one of the youngest boxers in the tournament – and at a weight which usually skews older. Indeed, his opening bout was the young Dub’s first without headgear.

The Monkstown BC fighter, though, showed no nerves throughout the tournament, scoring a big stoppage, hurting his opponents, and exploding into the Irish boxing fan’s consciousness.

It’s all part of the process for Marley who notes how “the idea of taking the headguard off never really fazed me, it was just another contest for me.”

“I’m very happy with my performance over the tournament , and I gained a lot of experience from it.”

“I’ll just continue to work hard every day. I would say I gained more experience and hunger from the medal win than anything else.”

Photo – Tara Robins Mari

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: