Brendan Irvine in action v Cuba

Ireland earned some hard-earned victories in international competition so far this year, not least being Brendan Irvine’s unanimous decision over Hungary’s Istavan Szaka in London last week which saw the Antrim flyweight qualify for his second successive Olympics.

The London tournament was postponed three days into the 11-day competition because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However ten Irish boxers – including Irvine, who, having secured qualification, is slated to meet Spain’s Gabriel Escobar for at least bronze in the quarter-finals – are still in play at the European qualifiers.

“I was a bit emotional, to be honest with you,” Irish captain Irvine told the Irish News after becoming a two-time Olympian

A finalist at the 2015 European Games, Irvine reckoned that this time out the process was different that the qualifiers for Rio 2016.

“Compared to four years ago, it was completely different. Growing up, ever since I started boxing, it was my dream to go to the Olympics. My next dream was to get to the Tokyo Olympics and get that medal, but the whole build-up to both was a world apart.”

Sixteen flyweights, including Irvine, and feathers booked tickets for the 32nd Olympiad before the London tournament was abandoned.

61 places will be on offer when the competition resumes at a date to be confirmed with George Bates slated to meet Azeri light-welter Javid Chalabiyev with a Tokyo 2020 place on the line.

Meanwhile, and taking into account Ireland’s double Olympians – and Paddy Barnes who is the only Irish boxer to qualify for three Olympics – Irvine, when he steps into the ring in Tokyo, will be the 125th boxer to represent Ireland at the Olympics since Ireland first entered the Olympic Games independently at Paris 1924.

Elsewhere, Ireland secured three medals in multi-nation outings so far this year and beat Wales on aggregate over two legs in Cardiff in a see-saw underage double-header at the start of this month in Cardiff.


International Results  2020


Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria

January 25


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland) 2-3

January 24


60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Denica Eliseeva (Bulgaria) 5-0
60kg Mira Potkonen (Finland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to Naomi Graham (USA) 0-5
75kg Davina Michel (France) beat Anastasiia Chernoklenko (Ukraine) 5-0

January 23


51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Virginia Fuchs (USA) 0-5
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Sonia Lather (India) 2-3
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Mykola Buysenko (Ukraine) 1-4
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Hanna Okheri (Ukraine) 5-0
63kg George Bates (Ireland) lost to Shiva Thapa (India) 0-5
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Jones Oshae (USA) W/O
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Flavia Figuerdo (Brazil) 3-2

January 22

Last 16

51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) lost to Olena Savchuk (Italy) 0-5
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Rabab Cheddar (Morocco) 5-0
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Carlos Rocha (Brazil) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Jenifer Fernandez (Spain) 5-0
57kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) lost to Francesco Maietta (Italy) Pts
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Aneta Rygielska (Poland) 5-0
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland) 0-5
63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Shpetin Bajoku (Kosova) Pts
63kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Paolo Di Lernia (Italy) Pts
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) lost to Johnson Delante (USA) Pts
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Sing Negi (India) 0-5
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) lost to Herbert Souza (Brazil) 2-3
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) lost to Nikolaz Begadze (Georgia) W/O

January 21

Last 32 and 16

51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Johanna Wonyou (France) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Gutierrez Guadaloupe (USA) 3-2
63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Lounes Hamraoui (France) 3-2
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Beatriz Soares (Brazil) 4-1
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Love Holgersson (Sweden) 5-0
81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) lost to Stepan Hrekul (Ukraine) 1-4
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Victor Schelstraette (Belgium) 3-2
91+kg Antione O Griofa (Ireland) lost to Clemente Russo (Italy) 0-5

Medals Table Finish 10th
Rankings Table Finish 6th
29 Nations

Irish squad


51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan) and Carly McNaul (Holy Family)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) (Silver) and Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) (Bronze)

57kg Kurt Walker (Canal) and Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)
63kg George Bates (St Mary’s) and Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)
69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) and Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)
91kg+ Antoine O’Griofa (Celtic Eagles)

High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk, JP Kinsella
Physio: Lorcan McGee
Physiologist: Damien Martin

Bocskai Memorial Debrecen, Hungary

February 7

75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) lost to Victor Yoka (France) 0-5

February 6


75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) v Zoltan Harsca (Hungary) W/O

February 5


75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) beat Robert Cservenka (Hungary) 5-0

February 4

Last 16

75kg Gabriel Dossen (Ireland) beat Mindougas Gedminas (Norway) 5-0

February 3

Last 32

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Mohammed Rajab (Botswana) 1-4
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Alexsandar Mraovic (Austria) RSC2

Medals Table Finish: 11th
Rankings Table Finish: Not Available
35 Nations


52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic) (Silver)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Coaches: Eoin Pluck & Michael Mongan
Physio: David Cooke

Wales versus Ireland Cardiff Sports Centre

March 1


46kg Harvey Williams (Wales) lost to Martin Collins (Ireland) 2-3


51kg Zoe Andrews (Wales) lost to Chloe Gabriel (Ireland) 2-3
52kg Romeo Costa (Wales) beat Jack Rapple (Ireland) 5-0
56kg Brandon Scott (Wales) lost to Suffie Edris (Ireland) 0-5
60kg Scott Jones (Wales) beat John McConnell (Ireland) 5-0
60kg Jake Down (Wales) beat Aodhan Byrne (Ireland) 4-1
64kg Paddy Murphy (Wales) lost to Matthew Tyndall (Ireland) 2-3

Result: Ireland 4 Wales 3

Wales versus Ireland Cardiff Sports Centre

February 29


46kg Harvey Williams (Wales) beat Martin Collins (Ireland) 5-0


49kg Scott Richards (Wales) lost to Dylan Eagleson (Ireland) 1-4
51kg Zoe Andrews (Wales) lost to Rachael Lawless (Ireland) 2-3
52kg Romeo Costa (Wales) beat Jack Rapple (Ireland) 5-0
56kg Brandon Scott (Wales) lost to Martin McCullagh (Ireland) 0-5
60kg Scott Jones (Wales) beat John McConnell (Ireland) 5-0
60kg Jake Down (Wales) lost to Aodhan Byrne (Ireland) 1-4
64kg Paddy Murphy (Wales) beat Matthew Tyndall (Ireland) 3-2

Result: Ireland 4  Wales 4

Irish squad

45kg Martin Collins (Drimnagh)
49kg Dylan Eagleson (St Paul’s A)
52kg Jack Rapple (Monkstown, D)
51kg Chloe Gabriel (Mulhuddart)
51kg Rachael Lawless (Portlaoise)
54kg Suffie Edris (Monkstown D)
57kg Martin McCullagh (Gleann)
60kg John McConnell (Holy Trinity)
60kg Aodhan Byrne (Kilcullen)
64kg Matthew Tyndall (Dublin Docklands)

Team manager: Eugene Duffy
Coaches: John Gallagher, Liam Cunningham, Nicole Meli
R&J Paul Mayse (Tyrone)

European Qualifiers for Tokyo 2020

Copperbox Arena London March 13/24

March 16

Last 32

69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) beat Pavel Kamanin (Spain) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Pas der Van (Netherlands) 4-1

Last 16

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Istavan Szaka (Hungary) 5-0
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) lost Charley Davison (Team Great Britain) 0-5
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Hamsat Shadolov (Germany) 0-5

March 17

Last 16


57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Mona Mestian (France)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland)
63kg George Bates (Ireland) v Javid Chalabiyev (Azerbaijan)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoriya Kebikava (Belarus)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Arman Darchinyan (Armenia)
81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) v Uke Smajli (Switzerland)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) V Emanual Reyes (Spain)

March 18

Last 16


69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) v Wahid Hambli (France)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Petar Belberov (Bulgaria)

March 19



52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Gabriel Escobar (Spain)

March 15

Last 32

63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Leon Dominguez (Spain) RSCI1
81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Radenko Tomic (Bosnia & Herzegovina) RSC2
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Begadze Nikoloz (Georgia) 4-1

Last 16

69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Angela Carina (Italy) 0-5

Irish squad

(Olympic qualification standard in brackets)


52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s, Antrim) Cpt (Top 8) (qualified)

57kg Kurt Walker (Canal, Antrim) (Top 8)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 8)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise, Laois) (Top 6)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands) (Top 6)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield, Dublin) (Top 4)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel, Tipperary) (Top 4)


51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road, Belfast) (Top 6)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 6)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s, Cork, Garda BC) (Top 5)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea, Roscommon) (Top 4)

High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk

(Tournament postponed on March 16 because of the coronavirus outbreak)