Zaur – “I am confident that with the right support and investment we can deliver future success”

There was good news for Irish boxing today as it was confirmed that Zaur Antia will remain as head coach of the Irish High Performance Unit.

The Georgian maestro signed an extension to his contract that will keep him with the IABA until 2021.

Antia has made Bray his home for the past 13 years, and is over the moon to be staying in his adopted home country.

The technical wizard, labelled the world’s best by many, is hopeful that Irish boxing can continue to have the recent unprecendented levels of success, and wants to further his recent involvement with the women’s boxing team

Even in 2016, a year seen by many as a bad period for Irish boxing due to a failure to medal at the Rio Olympics, Irish boxers still brought home 19 major international medals across all age groups.

Antia described how “I am delighted on both a personal and professional basis to commit to Irish boxing. Ireland has been home for my family and I for the last 13 years and I am delighted that we are in a position to stay. I am also very excited about remaining part of the Irish High Performance system.”

Looking ahead, Antia outlined how “We are, as is normal after any Olympic Games, in a period of transition but there remains a significant amount of talent and potential in the system as evidenced by the medals won by our team at the World Youth Championships in Russia last week and I am confident that with the right support and investment we can deliver future success.”

“I am also looking forward to becoming more involved with the women’s programme and feel that the medals we won at the recent World and European Championships is evidence of the strides made in women’s boxing here.”

Ireland’s 2016 medalists:
AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships Astana, Kazakhstan
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray) (Bronze)
64kg Kellie Harrington (Glasnevin) (Silver)

European Junior Championships Kaposvar, Hungary
46kg Terry Donoghue (St Michaels Athy) (Silver)
52kg Martin McDonagh (Glen) (Bronze)
57kg Edward Donovan (OLOL) (Gold)
66kg Jack Conroy (Mullingar Elite) (Silver)

European Youth Championships Anapa, Russia
52kg Terry McEntee (Old School) (Bronze)
60kg Oliver McCarthy (Brian Dillon’s) (Silver)

European Schoolboy Championships Zagreb, Croatia
48kg Cain Lewis (Ballymun) (Bronze)
54kg Francis Maughan (St.Marys Dublin) (Bronze)
56kg Patrick Collins (Baldoyle) (Bronze)
59kg Jason Irwin (Castleblaney) (Bronze)
65kg William Hayden (Crumlin) (Gold)
68kg Jason Myers (Titans) (Gold)

World University Championships Chiang Mai, Thailand
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) (Bronze)
91kg Ken Okungbowa (Athlone) (Bronze)

European Women’s Elite Championships Sofia, Bulgaria
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) (Bronze)

AIBA World Youth Championships St Petersburg, Russia
64kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic) (Bronze)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) (Bronze)

Note: No Irish team was sent to the European Women’s Junior and Youth Championships in Ordu, Turkey. The tournament was poorly attended by most European nations and the Queens Cup in Germany operated as something of an alternate European Championships.

Ireland’s medalists here were:
Junior
46kg Daina Moorehouse (Enniskerry) (Silver)
46kg Ciara Brien (St Davids Naas) (Bronze)
48kg Caitlin Fryers (Immaculata) (Gold)
50kg Mary Kate Nevin (Mullingar Elite) (Gold)
54kg Mary Geraghty (Baldoyle) (Bronze)
57kg Margurita Nevin (St Brigids Kildare) (Gold)
60kg Shauna O’Callaghan (Clann Naoife) (Gold)
63kg Roisin Gannon (Connemara) (Bronze)
63kg Evelyn Igharo (Clann Naofa) (Gold)

Youths
48kg Shannon Sweeney (St Anne’s, Westport) (Gold)
51kg Kelsey Leonard (Curragh) (Gold)
57kg Kellie McLoughlin (Drimnagh) (Bronze)
60kg Orla Garvey (Dealgan) (Silver)
64kg Shannon Reilly (Bray) (Bronze)
69kg Joanne Richards (St Michael’s NW) (Silver)
75kg Aoife Burke (St Mary’s Dublin) (Silver)

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