Some of the best boxers in Europe will descend on Dublin this weekend for a International Round Robin at the National Stadium.
France, Germany, Italy, and two teams from both Ireland and Russia will compete on the South Circular Road.
There are Olympians and major international mealists galore that will feature, but double European champion Joe Ward must sit the festivities out.
The Moate light heavyweight has suffered a slight hand injury and will not take part in this weekend’s action or be part of the Irish team that heads to the Feliks Stamm Multi-Nations in Poland next week.
However, Ward hopes to be fighting fit in time for the Golden Belt Multi-Nations in Romania next month.
The Westmeath big man noted how “it’s very disappointing as I was looking forward to testing myself at the Stadium and boxing at home,”
“I’m hoping to be back for a multi-nations in Romania on May 9 and build it up from there for the Europeans. I want competitive action going to the Ukraine, I want as many fights as possible.”
Ireland will be represented at light heavyweight this weekend by Dubliners Michael Frayne (St Mary’s) and Tony Browne (St Michael’s), whom Ward defeated to claim the Irish title earlier this year.
The tournament this weekend, and the subsequent two multi-nations, are being used as preparations for the European Championships in June – where Ward will look to claim an unprecedented third gold medal.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
LISTEN: Mick Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show