Wednesday 21 August 2019

Ireland's Euro hopes take a hit as Kellie Harrington ruled out with troublesome hand injury

Boxing

Ruled out: Kellie Harrington. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ruled out: Kellie Harrington. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington is out of next month's European Women's Championships in Spain because of a hand injury.

Bernard Dunne, high-performance director with the IABA, said that Harrington will miss the Madrid tournament because of the knock she picked up in Minsk at the European Games.

The Dubliner was due to meet Katie Taylor's Rio 2016 conqueror Mira Potkonen in the lightweight final in Minsk in June but suffered a thumb injury.

Dunne said they weren't risking the current World No 1 exacerbating the injury ahead of the World Championships in eastern Siberia in October.

There had been doubts about the Worlds because the International Boxing Association have been banned from any involvement with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including the qualifiers.

But the tournament is going ahead in early October in Ulan-Ude, where Harrington, if she's fit, will be defending her 60kg belt.

Meanwhile, ex-Irish head coach Billy Walsh believes that Joe Ward's achievement of winning a European Elite title when he was just 17 will never again be matched by an Irish boxer. Ward, who has turned pro with Times Square Boxing of New York and who will reveal his new team at a press conference in Dublin next Tuesday, claimed Euro gold in Turkey in 2017 at the minimum entry age.

"Joe has compiled a record that will be very difficult to match, said Walsh, the current USA head coach who has worked Ward's corner on numerous occasions.

"Winning an Elite European Championships at 17 won't be equalled. He leaves Team Ireland with a legacy of being one of our greatest amateur boxers."

Irish Independent

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