Transcribed by Dean Byrne
I’ve been looking at the amateur scene since my last contribution to www.irish-boxing.com and since then three Irish fighters qualified for the Olympics in the world championships, young Michael Conlon, Darren O’Neil and JJ Nevin again.
Now people are surprised that Joe Ward or Paddy Barnes haven’t qualified yet but there’s enough qualifying room, I’m definitely sure they’ll get in but to get three in so far says it all and Michael’s only a young lad too.
It was the same last year we had Paddy Barnes qualified then out of the blue others made it to Beijing. It could very well be the same with regard to London 2012.
“The IABA would want to wake up and smell the coffee.”
The amateur scene is flying at the moment. The youths they boxed in the Europeans in City-West but the tournament wasn’t without controversy. Ironically young O’Reilly was kicked off the team for not training, but went to court got back on the team and obviously trained enough to win a silver medal. What does that tell you? The IBA would want to wake up and smell the coffee in my opinion.
Then you look at Katie Taylor, you can’t print enough words worthy of describing her, She is just sheer brilliance. She won her fifth European title, that’s five European titles four European Union, three world titles and god help them in the Olympics.
In any other country she would be a national treasure there would be holidays named after her and yet over here she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. The IABA doesn’t give her the recognition she deserves at all, she is one in ten million and the IBA should wake up and realise what they have there.
She’s one of the most decorated boxers ever. We will never see the likes of her again and the way she gets treated by the IBA is shocking. She trains with her father Pete, who’s a gentleman, and look how much she’s done for Irish boxing, it’s unbelievable. She’s like a Cuban boxer the way she keeps winning and in the one way manner she achieves success.
I don’t know what it is with the IABA it was the same when I was there. The last Olympics I was the senior champion but I was told I wasn’t going to the worlds. For some reason they sent the boxer I beat in the final. It’s just politics in boxing and Irish boxing is shocking because they’re letting their best boxers go without a second thought.
If you win a senior title your senior champion you should go. This thing with box offs is a load of waffle. If you’re a senior champion you’ve earned the right to represent the country, otherwise what’s the point in having a senior championship? They’re sending who they want to go, its favouritism, it shouldn’t be like that, if you’re the best you go. Selection should be based on talent not if they favour you or not.
Since I last wrote my column Brian Magee became world champion. Brian is around a long time, British champion, European champion and a great amateur so it was great to finally see him become world champion; I take my hat off to him. It was nothing that he didn’t deserve.
Paul Mc Closkey made a good comeback from that controversial defeat to Amir Kahn and he beat Prescott. Now he’s is being linked to the likes of Marcos Maidanna, Zab Judah and Timothy Bradely. That all bodes well for Irish boxing. Andy Lee had a great win over Brian Vera, the only man to beat him and Carl Frampton won the European title, I expect big thing for Frampton over the coming 12 months he is an exciting talent.
For me there is no one out there worthy of beating him at domestic or European level. I think he’ll go through Scott Quick and Kiko Martinez. I think he’s good enough.
Mathew Macklin is rumoured to be fighting Sergio Martinez on Paddy’s Pay and then we have the Celtic Warriors show in Liverpool. There might be nothing much happening here in the pro game but we still have fights to support and fighters on title trails. Frampton, Magee, McCloskey, Maklin and Stephen Ormond, Spike, Karl Brabazon and even myself should do well over the coming months. Watch this space.