Michael Conlan and the Irish Boxing squad have been shortlisted for the RTE Sports Person of the Year Award and the RTE Sport Team of the Year Award.
Conlan is among 14 nominees, along with Irish Olympian Andy Lee, the current WBO champion, golfer Rory McIlroy and rugby legend Paul O’Connell and others.
Conlan became the first Irish male boxer to win an AIBA World Elite title in Doha, Qatar this year. The Belfast orthodox, who captained the Irish squad in the Persian Gulf, also won European Elite gold in Bulgaria last summer and walked off with the Best Boxer Award.
Conlan also has the distinction of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio twice in 2015, once through the World Series of Boxing with Italia Thunder and again, courtesy of winning gold in Doha.
His two gold medal wins in World and European competition lifted the London 2012 bronze medallist to No. 1 in the AIBA World Elite bantamweight rankings. He’s the only Irish boxer besides Olympic champion Katie Taylor and John Joe Nevin to occupy pole position.
The Irish Boxing squad are also in the running for the top Team Award. Ireland won ten medals – five gold, two silver and three bronze – at the inaugural European Games, the European Elite Men’s Championships and the World Elite Men’s Championships in 2015.
Katie Taylor and Michael O’Reilly won double gold at the European Games, while Conlan and Joe Ward struck double gold at the European Elites and Conlan finished on top of the 56kg podium in Qatar.
Joe Ward and Brendan Irvine secured a brace of silver medals at the World Elites and European Games and Michael O’Reilly, Dean Walsh and Sean McComb claimed bronze at the World Elites, European Elites and European Games.
Former Irish head coach Billy Walsh has been nominated for the RTE Sport Manager of the Year Award.
The winners will be unveiled next Saturday. Click here for list of nominees.