AmateurHeadline News

Top fight nation perfect test for Team Ireland this weekend says coach

AIBA World No. 8 ranked Clare Grace will line out for Ireland versus the Ukraine at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday night. Boxing begins at 7:30pm

The Kilkenny welterweight, the only Irish female boxer beside Olympic champion Katie Taylor to medal at the European Elite Championships, is one of five current Irish Elite champions, along with Lauren Hogan, Debbie O’Reilly, Kelly Harrington and Dianna Campbell, included on a strong and experienced Irish panel for the visit of the eastern European powerhouses.

Grace, a DCU student, convincingly beat Romanian welter Cristina Stancu to reach the last-16 at the AIBA World Elite Championships in Jeju, Korea last November – Katie Taylor won a fifth successive gold at the tournament – but had to withdraw from her bout with Gulizar Kara of Turkey because of a cut over her left eye.

Cork’s Irish Youth Olympian Christian Desmond will also be in action at the South Circular Road venue on Friday evening.

The 18-year-old Macroom BC southpaw, who was edged out by Grace on a split decision in January’s 69kg National Elite final, believes her Elite international debut will be competitive.

“The Ukraine are one of the top amateur boxing nations in the world and it will definitely be a tough test for us, said the ten-time Irish champion and 2013 AIBA World Youth silver medallist.

“Hopefully, it will go well for us on the night. My training is going grand and I’m very much looking forward to making my debut at this level on Saturday night.”

Grace and Desmond will also be in action for Ireland against the Ukraine at the St Brigid’s BC in Kildare on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Kristina O’Hara has been drafted onto the Irish squad for Friday’s international at the National Stadium and Emma Agnew will also be between the ropes at the home of Irish boxing.

Elaine Harrison and Cheyanne O’Neill are included in the Irish team for Saturday’s second leg at the St Brigid’s BC in Kildare.
Coach Liam Brereton expects a top class double header of internationals in Leinster this weekend.

He said: “It has taken a lot of hard work to get a team of the calibre of the Ukraine to come here and the Ladies Committee deserve great credit for that. The Ukraine are a leading boxing nation and it will be very competitive.

“It will be a good test for our Elite boxers over both nights. We’ve named virtually a second Elite squad for the meeting on Saturday. Paddy Phelan has gone out of his way to organise a top class show in Kildare. Our teams will meet quality opposition this weekend.”

Irish women’s boxing is proudly sponsored by Quick Park of Dublin Airport.

Irish Team
National Stadium 27th February
48kg Lauren Hogan (St Brigid’s E)
51kg Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco)
57kg Emma Agnew (Dealgan)
60kg Debbie O’Reilly (Olympic)
64kg Kelly Harrington (St Margarets)
64kg Sarah Close (Holy Family)
69kg Clare Grace (Callan)
69kg Christina Desmond (Macroom)
81+ Diane Campbell (Garda BC)
Kildare 28th February
48kg Lauren Hogan (St Brigids E)
51kg Elaine Harrison (Ballina)
57kg Dervla Duffy (St Brigids Kildare, Defence Forces)
60kg Cheyanne O’Neill ( Athlone)
64kg Kayleigh McCormack (Kilfenora)
64kg Grannie Walsh (Spartcus)
69kg Clare Grace (Callan)
69kg Christina Desmond (Macroom)
81kg Fiona Nelson (City Of Belfast)
Ukraine Team
Snizhana Kholodkova
Maryna Malovana
Ganna Okhrei
Nila Lipska
Mariia Bova
Olena Kolesnyk
Mariya Borutsa
Elvira Papirovych


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years