Joe Ward (blue) in action

Joe Ward (blue) in action


Russia have named Rio 2016 gold and bronze medallists Evgeny Tishchenko and Vladimir Nikitin in their squad for a Round Robin meeting with Ireland in Dublin.

Ireland meet France, Germany, Italy and Russia at the National Stadium on April, 28th,29th and 30th.

Nikitin, who beat Michael Conlan in the quarter-finals of the Rio Games, has since moved up from bantam to light.

Tishchenko will face London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill in a 91kg battle of the southpaws. Both men have met on two occasions in the past and share one victory each.

O’Neill beat Tishchenko in the 2010 Ostrava Grand Prix final in the Czech Republic and the Russian heavyweight beat O’Neill in the 2015 European Championships.

Germany, under former Irish coach Eddie Bolger, and France have named strong sides for Dublin.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha is included on Les Bleus panel along with Paul Omba Biongolo, who won European U/22 heavyweight gold last month. Rio 2016 bronze medallist Artem Harutyunyan has been called up to  the German team.

Brendan Irvine

Brendan Irvine

The Italian squad will be confirmed shortly.

Team Ireland, under head coach Zaur Antia, will be drawn from No. 1 and No. 2 boxers. Rio Olympians Joe Ward and Brendan Irvine and European medallists Dean Walsh and Sean McComb will be in the mix along with all the current National Elite champions and finalists. Europe is building toward June’s European Elite Men’s Championships in the Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The top eight boxers in each of the weight classes in the Ukraine qualify for the World Elite Championships in Hamburg, Germany in August/September.

World Elite silver medallist Joe Ward will be aiming for his third European gold in Kharkiv. The Moate BC southpaw is the only Irish boxer besides Katie Taylor to win more than one European Elite gold.