More Zaur in store – Antia signs new IABA contract

The IABA have confirmed today that coach Zaur Antia has signed a new deal that will see him serve as Irish head coach until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Georgian technical wizard had been subject to confirmed approaches from a number of nations, as well as a rumoured approach from Macklin’s Gym Marbella. However, the Bray-based coach will remain with the Irish association for the foreseeable future.

Antia is regularly hailed as one of the World’s best by boxers who come through the system, and recently oversaw the Irish women’s team during the European Championships in Sofia.

In a statement released today read “the Irish Amateur Boxing Association can confirm that Zauri Antia has committed his future to Irish Boxing until 2021 despite offers to coach from the national boxing associations of Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Antia will serve as head coach having first joined the Irish High Performance Team in 2003. Originally, Antia’s focus was on the men’s team but over the last 18 months he has also had an increasing involvement with the women’s high performance system.

IABA CEO, Fergal Carruth said Antia’s decision is a vote of confidence for Irish boxing: “I am thrilled that we have managed to fight off some tough competition from other countries to retain the coaching expertise of Zauri within the Irish High Performance programme. He has been an integral part of all the success achieved by Irish boxing since his arrival in 2003.”

“His decision to stay is a vote of confidence in the future of Irish boxing and in the significant talent within the system across our men’s and women’s’ programmes.”

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