Boxing: Big hitters make Irish Elite squad
The IABA's Boxing Council yesterday named the Elite squad for next month's AIBA World Amateur Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan, with one of the 10 spots left vacant pending a box-off at 64kg between Ray Moylette and Ross Hickey scheduled for September 2, three weeks before the tournament commences.
The announcement followed days of speculation that several national champions -- among them Joe Ward, Darren O'Neill, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes -- might be excluded after missing last week's Elite Open Championships through injury. Nevin had threatened to quit amateur boxing if omitted. In the event all four were given their passes while Kenny Egan, as anticipated, will travel to Baku as Ireland's heavyweight representative.
A team of 16 boxers, including Katie Taylor, left for a training camp in Italy on Friday and, while both Moylette and Hickey will remain on, it is thought that the remaining four boxers not bound for Baku -- Willie McLaughlin, Tyrone Mcullagh, Adam Nolan and Jason Quigley -- will now have to make their way home. Privately, senior boxing officials are concerned that at least one of the excluded boxers might now seek to contest the IABA's decision, further disrupting preparations for the championships.
Their fears were compounded on Friday when Portlaoise boxer Michael O'Reilly was granted an injunction in the High Court preventing the IABA from deselecting him from the squad for the European Youth Championships following a disciplinary issue. Yesterday the Boxing Council formally ratified O'Reilly's place on the team, drawing a veil over an affair that was acutely embarrassing for the IABA, which hosts the Championships beginning tomorrow in Dublin.
Irish Squad for 2011 AIBA World Senior Championships and Olympic qualifiers Baku, Azerbaijan
49Kg - Light-flyweight: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family GG, Belfast) 52Kg - Flyweight: Michael Conlon (St John Bosco, Belfast) 56Kg - Bantamweight: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) 60Kg - Lightweight: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy, Kildare) 64Kg - Light-welterweight: To Be Decided 69Kg - Welterweight: Roy Sheehan (St Michael's Athy, Kildare) 75Kg - Middleweight: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown, Kilkenny) 81Kg - Light-heavyweight: Joe Ward (Moate, Westmeath) 91Kg - Heavyweight: Ken Egan (Neilstown, Dublin)
91+Kg - Super-heavyweight: Con Sheehan (Clonmel, Tipperary)
Box-Off for Light-welterweight position 64Kg: Ray Moylette (St Anne's, Mayo) v Ross Hickey (Grangecon, Wicklow).
Sunday Indo Sport