Kellie Harrington turns down pro offers to remain amateur

Olympic gold medal hero Kellie Harrington has revealed she will remain amateur.

The Dubliner’s Tokyo in-ring success proved she is one of the more talented boxers on the planet regardless of code – and the manner in which she captured the attention and affection of the nation showed the lightweight has cross-over appeal.

That mixture of talent and marketability caught the attention of promoters across the globe and professional contracts were put on the table as a result.

However, they were knocked back as the Portland Row fighter decided her future lies away from the paid ranks and

Ireland’s gold medal hero Kellie Harrington has turned down offers to turn professional in favour of remaining amateur.

“I’ve made the decision, I’m going to stay amateur,” said Harrington on Friday Night’s Late Late Show. “It’s not always about money.”

“That’s what people are saying – ‘You can make a fortune out of this, you can go for that fight, you can go for this fight’ and what have you. I just want to be amateur,” she said.

“I’m very happy. I’m supported by Team Ireland and I have a great team with the set-up.”

“Less stress, more success.”

The decision to stay amateur in itself isn’t overly surprising, despite the fact Harrington suggested pre-Tokyo that she would accept a lucrative offer, there was a general feeling life away from the pro-business and potentially murkier side of the sport appealed.

However, the timing of the revelation was surprising, many expected the 32-year-old to deliberate more. The decision means Harrington will now become a genuine Paris 2024 medal hope, although there will be massive competition for top spot at each weight class in three years’ time.

Aidan Walsh also confirmed he would remain amateur on the show, although his Paris intentions were already widely known.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com