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Last chance saloon: IABA names squad for final Olympic boxing qualifier

Seven Irish fighters will travel to Trabzon, Turkey for the final men’s Olympic qualifier in April.

Michael McDonagh celebrates his win against David Oliver Joyce in the finals of the 2012 National Elite Boxing Championships last Friday.
Michael McDonagh celebrates his win against David Oliver Joyce in the finals of the 2012 National Elite Boxing Championships last Friday.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

SEVEN IRISH BOXERS have been handed one last chance to earn a place at London 2012, as the Irish Amateur Boxing Association today confirmed its squad for the final men’s Olympic qualifier.

Paddy Barnes, Michael McDonagh, Ross Hickey, Adam Nolan, Joe Ward, Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan will travel to the tournament in Trabzon, Turkey from 13-22 April with their Olympic dreams on the line.

McCarthy won his first senior title at heavyweight title at the 2012 National Elite Boxing Championships last Friday evening, while the other six fighters all retained their respective belts with wins in the finals.

The squad will now begin two months of intensive preparations, starting with an eight-day training camp in the Curragh which begins on Thursday. Camps in Germany and Ukraine will also follow between now and April, and the squad will also get some competitive action at the Chemistry Cup Multi Nations in Halle, Germany on 13 March.

“We have a very difficult task ahead of us to get some more lads qualified. We’ll start knuckling down to that task and begin the hard work at our training camp in the Curragh this week,” Irish head coach Billy Walsh said today.

Three Irish fighters –flyweight Michael Conlan, bantamweight John Joe Nevin and middleweight Darren O’Neill — have qualified for the Olympics already. The trio will take part in the Irish squad’s preparations for Trabzon.

Irish squad for final Olympic qualifier, Trabzon, 13-22 April 2011

  • 49Kg: Paddy Barnes (semi-finalists will qualify)
  • 60Kg: Michael McDonagh (semi-finalists will qualify)
  • 64Kg: Ross Hickey (gold medalist will qualify)
  • 69Kg: Adam Nolan (finalists will qualify)
  • 81Kg: Joe Ward (finalists will qualify, plus whoever loses to the eventual gold medalist in the semi-finals)
  • 91Kg: Tommy McCarthy (gold medalist will qualify)
  • 91+Kg: Con Sheehan (finalists will qualify)

Egan vows to carry on as Olympic dream dies

As it happened: National Elite Boxing Championship Finals

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Niall Kelly

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