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‘We weren’t sure were we going to get anybody qualified’ — says boxing coach Walsh

Joe Ward won’t be in London this summer.

Billy Walsh: week ended on a high yesterday.
Billy Walsh: week ended on a high yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

BILLY WALSH SAYS amateur boxing’s world governing body needs to ‘think about’ where it holds its events in the future.

The comments from Ireland high perfromance chief comes in the wakes some controversial decision which marred this week’s Olympics qualifying event in TRabzon, Turkey.

Joe Ward most notabley, from an Irish point of view, was harshly judged to have lost his quarter-final against a Turkish boxer on Monday. The Irish delegation lodged an appeal immedaitely which was rejected by event organisers but Walsh says more efforts are being made.

“Looking at it earlier in the week we weren’t sure were we going to get anybody qualified the way decisions were going,” Walsh told Paul McDermott of the Irish Sports Council yesterday.

“It’s hard for Joe. All the team performed well and Joe performed well, you couldn’t ask any more. You know I think probably from a world body perspective, they need to look at where they’re going to put these events in future because it’s not just ourselves who were hijacked out here it’s quite a few other countries as well.

“We’ll continue, we have five fellas (qualified), we think we should have had seven but we’ll have to work with those guys. There’s work going on behind the scenes, we won’t know what the story is there for a month or so but other than that we’ll have five fellas with a real chance of bringing a quality performance for the country in London,” he added.

Walsh was speaking after the week in Trabzon ended on a high for Ireland, with Wexford garda Adam Nolan taking gold.

“He was fantastic,” said Walsh, “you know he started a bit dodgy, stepping off a bit too much and was probably fortunate too be only a point down going into the final round and really pulled out all the stops in the last and showed we’re here to win to gold medals and hear Amhrán na BhFiann on foreign soil; that’s the motto of the team.

“He’s just growing in confidence and developing and you can see it in the squad and I have to say Peter Taylor, his coach, has done a fantastic job since he’s been with him the last two years. He’s brought him on leaps and bounds and from this he’ll gain in confidence and hopefully we can make an impact in London when we get there.”

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