Irish fighters feature in latest amateur world rankings

The five members of the Irish team for the World Championships which begin this week are included in the latest AIBA World Rankings.

Boxers from across the globe descend on Hamburg this week for the biennial tournament.

Ireland will be represented in Germany by Brendan Irvine, Kurt Walker, Sean McComb, Joe Ward, and Dean Gardiner.

In addition to these five, three other Irish fighters are ranked.

At flyweight, Rio Olympian and European bronze medalist Irvine is ranked at #10 in the world and will be the #6 ranked fighter at the World Championships

Fresh off the back of his European bronze medal, Walker is 26th in the bantamweight rankings. In Hamburg he will be the #18-ranked fighter. While he has been a pro almost a year now, Mick Conlan is #2 in the rankings.

McComb is now ranked 28th in his first entry to the light welterweight division. The Belfast southpaw will be the #19 boxer at the Worlds.

At welterweight, Rio Olympian Steven Donnelly is ranked at #16, however he did not qualify for these championships.

Michael O’Reilly is still #9 at middleweight, however he his future is unclear after his drugs violation at the Rio Olympic Games.

At light heavyweight Ward is ranked #3. The Irish team captain is also the third highest ranked fighter in Hamburg and will presumably therefore be on the same side of the draw as long-time Cuban rival Julio Cesar La Cruz.

Finally, at super heavyweight, Tipperary titan Gardiner is at #47. A late addition to the squad for the tournament, ‘Breakfast’ received a spot when European silver medalist Fraser Clarke suffered an injury. He is the #25 ranked fighter in Germany.

The recent EU Championships have not been factored into the Women’s rankings. Here Christina Desmond is ranked #20 at middleweight, Moira McElligott is #20 at feather, Kelly Harrington is #2 at light welter (but has fought at lightweight this year), and Gráinne Walsh is #6 at welter.

In addition, Katie Taylor, who is now 6-0 as a professional, is still #4 in the rankings.

At the EUs earlier this month Ireland claimed three medals, bronze for Walsh, silver for Harrington, and bantamweight gold for Michaela Walsh.

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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