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IABA set to wait until after the Olympics to appoint Billy Walsh’s successor

Zaur Antia expected to lead Irish boxing’s medal charge at Rio 2016.

Antia, left, and Walsh worked side by side to deliver international success in Irish boxing.
Antia, left, and Walsh worked side by side to deliver international success in Irish boxing.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IRISH BOXING BOSSES are expected to wait until after the Olympics before appointing a permanent replacement for Billy Walsh.

Zaur Antia took over as interim head coach following the high-profile saga which saw Walsh depart and take up a new role with the US Women’s team.

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association has signalled its intention to advertise the post internationally but Antia, hailed as one of the best technical coaches in the game, looks set to remain in place until after Rio.

“I think the IABA will probably look at [a permanent replacement] in due course,” Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy said yesterday.

“Zaur Antia has been appointed and I’m sure as we get past Rio, they’ll be looking at what other sports have in place in terms of high performance systems and maybe evaluating at that stage with ourselves and coming in looking for our support.

Zaur has been in the system a long period of time. Everyone acknowledges he is a fantastic coach and is very capable of doing a good job, and we will give him every support.

Treacy was one of the most vocal critics of the IABA last autumn as they failed to agree a deal to keep Walsh, the man behind seven Olympic medals.

But despite the public fallout, he said the relationship between the organisations is now back to “business as normal.”

“I think we’ve all moved on now. I think we’ve all moved on and dusted ourselves off and got on with it. That’s where we’re at.

“We will work closely with them. We’ve always enjoyed a fine relationship with them and we’ll continue to try to ensure that that relationship is very solid.”

We took a tour of the new €4 million training centre for Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls

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Niall Kelly

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