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Boxing: McDonagh pulls out of Olympic qualifiers

IRISH head coach Billy Walsh has confirmed Elite lightweight champion Michael McDonagh will return from the Irish training camp in Germany tomorrow.

The Irish Elite squad are in Hennef preparing for the final Olympic qualifier for European male boxers in Trabzon, Turkey next month. Ireland will also take part in the 19-nation Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany next week.

However, McDonagh, who boxes out of St Mary's BC in Dublin, will not be competing in the Chemistry Cup or the Olympic qualifiers.

"Michael felt a bit uncomfortable in his surroundings and it was felt he wasn't ready for the step up from domestic boxing to the Olympic qualifiers and he didn't want to deny anyone the opportunity to qualify in Trabzon," said Walsh.

Multiple Irish champion David Oliver Joyce has been drafted in in place of McDonagh and will wear the Irish lightweight vest in Halle and Trabzon. Joyce, who boxes out of St Michael's Athy BC, was desperately unlucky not to qualify for the Olympics from the 2011 World Championships in Baku.

The Irishman was tied at 30-30 with Jai Bhagwan in a bout for a place in the London Games, but with just seconds to go, he received a harsh public warning for holding and the Indian won 32-30.

Meanwhile, London Olympian John Joe Nevin will not compete in the Chemistry Cup after picking up a facial injury against Branimir Stankovic in the World Series on Monday. Nevin beat the Serb on a split decision to help Paris United to a 3-2 first-leg, quarter-final win over Milano Thunder.

Irish Independent