India add spice to Irish training

Eamon Carr

Things are hotting up ahead of the London Olympics, as India's national team, with seven boxers who've qualified for London, get to work with the Irish squad at the National Stadium.

Tunisia, who have three male and two female boxers, including Rim Jouini, who Katie Taylor defeated at the World Championships, are also here.

There'll be a round-robin tournament between the three teams on Wednesday and Thursday. Next month, head coach Billy Walsh will bring the Irish team to Italy for a final pre-Games training camp.

It's hard to believe that the last time Ireland had a referee officiating at the Olympic Games was in 1992, the year Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough won medals in Barcelona. Jackie Poucher from Newry policed the Oscar de La Hoya-Marco Rudolph final. This year, Ireland's Michael Gallagher from Omagh will be one of the Games' officials.

With the WBO ruling -- following the independent video evaluation of the bout by five international judges -- that Manny Pacquiao should have been declared the winner and not Timothy Bradley, allegations of corruption in professional boxing are back on top of the agenda. The WBO can't overturn the original decision. That's up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Meanwhile, following his seventh round stoppage of Andy Lee, speculation surrounds WBC world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez in relation to drug testing. This isn't the first time the Mexican has been under the spotlight. WBC president Jose Sulaiman is a Chavez family friend.

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New Yorker Vinny Maddalone (35-7, 26KO) will be Irish heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's opponent on July 7 in Clevedon. Maddalone, 38, known to fans as the Italian Stallion, has a reputation for Rocky-style courage in the ring.