Dean Gardiner (Clonmel BC) and Martin Keenan (Rathkeale BC) will meet in a box-off at the National Stadium in Dublin tonight, May 31st, to decide the super-heavyweight position on the Irish team for next month’s European Elite Men’s Championships in the Ukraine.

Boxing begins at 8pm at the National Stadium. The bout will be decided over three, three-minute rounds.

Keenan is the current Irish Elite super-heavyweight champion. Gardiner, who missed this year’s Championships because of injury, claimed two Elite belts in 2015 as the IABA ran the tournament twice that year to facilitate Ireland’s boxers going into the qualifiers for Rio 2016.

Ireland will send a nine-strong squad to the 42nd European Championships.

European Elite Men’s Championships Kharkiv, Ukraine June 14th/25th 

Irish squad


52kg – Flyweight – Brendan Irvine (St Pauls)

56kg – Bantamweight –  Kurt Walker (Canal)

60kg – Lightweight – Patrick Mongan (Olympic)

64kg – Light-welter – Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)

69kg – Welterweight – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)

75kg – Middleweight – Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin)

81kg – Light-heavy – Joe Ward (Moate)

91kg – Heavyweight – Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

91+kg – Super-heavy – Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) or Martin Keenan (Rathkeale)


High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Team manager: Gerry O’Mahony

Head Coach: Zaur Antia

Coaches: Dmitry Dimitruc, Jimmy Payne,  Eoin Pluck

Physio: Seamus Caffrey

Doctor: Jim Clover

Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary

Performance Analysis: Alan Swanton