Paris Not The Pros – Christina Desmond lays out targets

A pro career has been put on the back burner and it’s all systems go toward Paris for Christina Desmond.

The Macroom light middleweight was weighing up pro offers and leaning toward the paid ranks last Summer after having her Olympic dream snatched from her due to circumstances outside of the ring.

A pandemic inspired reshuffle in the qualification system prevented the Rebel operator from being afforded the chance to qualify via an initially scheduled but eventually cancelled World qualifying event.

In the immediate aftermath, still sore from how things transpired and with promoters sniffing around, Desmond admitted she was considering a change and a turning over.

However, speaking after she impressed immensely in the Golden Belt tournament in Romania last weekend, the 26-year-old revealed she will remain amateur for now and is ready to trek the Parisian qualification walkway.

“Pro is always an avenue but for now I’ll wait around,” she puts it simply when speaking to Irish-boxing.com. ” I’m young!”

“The Olympics was always a goal for me. I’m proud of all I’ve achieved and all the tournaments I’ve been to and will continue to go to, but the Olympics would be huge. Paris 2024 is the goal,” she adds.

With more qualification reshuffling and weight manoevering, the path to Paris isn’t quite clear for the European bronze medalist.”

Desmond had unsuccessfully attempted to qualify for the Rio Games at middleweight [75kg] but the addition of welterweight [69kg] to the Tokyo roster seemed perfect only for the pandemic to wreak havoc.

For Paris, welterweight has moved down to 66kg, perhaps a bridge too far for Desmond who now finds herself in the 70kg light middleweight division (which is not an Olympic weight) and therefore would again be targeting a middleweight berth.

The Cork southpaw isn’t looking too far ahead, however, and admits that “I’m not too sure yet what my plan is weight wise. I’ll have to have a proper look at the qualifying system. For now, I’m focused on doing well this year and getting picked for the National team for upcoming tournaments.”

Desmond was speaking after securing gold in Romania and revealed she was delighted to be back representing her country and back in the winner’s circle.

“It was great to be back winning in the Irish vest. It’s been a long few years of ups and downs due to covid and work. Mentally it has been difficult and a big struggle but I’m back and I’m very proud to say I am back,” Desmond added before adding last weekend’s win has added value.

“Every time you stand on the podium is special but this time was that bit better. I haven’t been there in a long time and for those who know me, know how hard I’ve trained and how many sarcrificies I’ve made over the past few months , as I’m still working full-time on shift work.

“So for that, I am so proud and thankful for all who have helped me and been there for me- my family, friends, partner and all of my colleagues in An Garda Síochána, especially those in dungarvan station. It was good to sing the National anthem and be proud in honour of all of them!”

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