Boxing: Dublin go-ahead for Europeans
Published 05/11/2010 | 05:00
The Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) will bridge a 63-year gap when they host the European Senior Boxing Championships in Dublin next June, writes Bernard O'Neill.
The European Championships, usually held every two years, have been granted to the IABA for their centenary celebrations and to help the continent's boxers prepare for the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Azerbaijan next September.
Ireland last hosted this tournament in 1947 at the National Stadium in Dublin, where Gerry O'Colman, Peter McGuire and Eddie Cantwell won gold, silver and bronze.
"The European Senior Championships are a very prestigious tournament and to be granted the opportunity to stage them in Dublin is an enormous boost to Irish amateur boxing," said IABA president Tommy Murphy.
The tournament, which will feature at least 40 nations, will give the IABA the opportunity to build on their historic haul of five medals from this year's European Championships in Moscow.
Paddy Barnes ended this country's 19-year wait by becoming the first Irishman to win gold, while Darren O'Neill took silver.
Ken Egan, Eric Donovan and Tyrone McCullagh claimed bronze to help Ireland finish in second spot in the medals table behind Russia.
"The Irish squad performed brilliantly in Moscow and with home advantage next year, we would be confident that we can do well again," added IABA director of boxing Dominic O'Rourke. "This is a fantastic opportunity for us."