KENNETH EGAN BELIEVES Ireland’s Olympic boxers can replicate the triple medal haul from Beijing 2008 and energise the nation.
The Clondalkin boxer captured a silver medal in China four years ago but missed the chance to add to the collection when he was defeated by Joe Ward in the national finals in February.
He will, instead, take up a role as a pundit with RTÉ for the games and join Michael Carruth, Mick Dowling and Bernard Dunne in providing insights into the boxing events.
Ireland currently has five boxers travelling to London for the games but hopes are high that the numbers could swell to at least eight following qualifiers in Turkey (male) and China (female).
Carruth, who won boxing gold at the Barcelona Olympics, said last month that it would be a ‘failure’ if Ireland did not clinch at least one gold in the ring this summer.
“I think he went a bit far,” Egan remarked. “He is probably panicking that someone else will win gold and he’ll have some company.” Egan told The Score:
The Beijing boxing team was one of the best ever to have travelled but this (London) squad is looking good. Guys can get medals but if you asked me what colour they would be, I couldn’t tell you.
Beaten by the best
Egan has earmarked Paddy Barnes as a fighter that can equal or better his Olympic bronze from 2008 and proclaims that Joe Ward will go far in the light-heavyweight division. The 30-year-old will be cheering on the man who ended his Olympic quest.
He commented, “I’ve nothing but good things to say about Joe. He is flying at the moment and had a great (Chemistry Cup) win in Germany. He just has to keep the head right and keep doing what he is doing.” Egan added:
Davy Oliver Joyce is another lad in with a great chance so hopefully he can qualify. The final (qualification) event is taking place in Turkey. They haven’t had a boxer make it to the games yet so God knows what the scoring will be like.
“If Davy can avoid a Turkish boxer in the early rounds and get some solid wins in, he has a great chance of making it to the final and qualifying for London,” he added.
Egan also predicted success for Katie Taylor and says he is looking forward to his stint as a pundit, confident in the fact that he has had his ‘time in the sunshine’.