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(L-R) Ray Moylette, Michael McDonagh, Darren O'Neill, Cathal McMonagle, Michael Conlan, Willie McLaughlin and Con Sheehan.
(L-R) Ray Moylette, Michael McDonagh, Darren O'Neill, Cathal McMonagle, Michael Conlan, Willie McLaughlin and Con Sheehan.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

In pictures: Meet the Irish boxing team for next week's Euro Championships

Paddy Barnes seeks to become only the second Irish boxer to win back-to-back European titles.
Jun 10th 2011, 5:53 PM 825 1

EUROPEAN LIGHT-FLYWEIGHT Champion Paddy Barnes will lead the Irish boxing team into battle at next week’s European Championships in Ankara, Turkey after the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) named its ten-man squad this morning.

Following his victory over Elvin Mamishzade in the gold medal bout in Moscow twelve months ago, the 24-year-old from Belfast is hoping to emulate Katie Taylor, becoming the first male Irish boxer to win back-to-back European titles.

Barnes will be joined by last year’s European Middleweight silver medallist Darren O’Neill in a squad which contains six other reigning Irish champions: Michael Conlon (flyweight), John Joe Nevin (bantamweight), Michael McDonagh (lightweight), Joe Ward (light-heavyweight), Con Sheehan (heavyweight) and Cathal McMonagle (super-heavyweight).

Twenty-year-old light-welterweight Ray Moylette of the St Anne’s club in Westport and 2009 Irish welterweight champion Willie McLaughlin round out the squad which sees Ireland represented in every weight division.

The team will be hoping to emulate the success of last year’s tournament in Russia where Ireland finished second behind the hosts in the medals table, winning a gold, a silver, and three bronze medals.

They are well aware that it will be a tough task if they are to reach a similar level of success this time around, as head coach Billy Walsh admitted this morning.

“The European Championships will be very competitive,” he said, “and if we don’t bring our best performance to the table them someone else will take our place, it’s as simple as that really.”

The team fly out to Ankara tomorrow ahead of the competition’s opening rounds on Friday.

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Niall Kelly

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