Sunday 18 February 2018

Boxing: Why are ringmasters being left in the lurch?

Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

IT is now 103 days since Ireland's Olympic boxers stepped from an Aer Lingus jet into a blizzard of flashbulbs at Dublin Airport, yet still no confirmation that the long-term future of the coaching team has been secured.

One question: Why? Not many things work as well in Irish sport as the boxers' High Performance unit on the South Circular Road, from where seven Olympic medals have been secured in the last four years. Billy Walsh who oversees the unit, recently received the Freedom of Wexford. Yet, there is still no white smoke from the IABA confirming that the services of Walsh, Zaur Antia and Pete Taylor have been secured for the next Olympic cycle.

Given that all three were courted by foreign federations during the London Games – with, in one case, a seven-year offer on the table – this smacks of a worrying inertia.

If Irish boxing loses any of these men, those responsible will have some explaining to do.

Irish Independent

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