23 March 2016; Paddy Barnes, left, Ireland, exchanges punches with Stephen McKenna, Ireland. Boxing Test Match, National Boxing Stadium, Dublin. Picture credit: David Fitzgerald / SPORTSFILE


The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) were delighted to open its doors to Irish boxing supporters free of charge yesterday as Ireland and Lithuania’s Elite men’s boxing teams went head to head in an exciting test match at the National Stadium. This was a great opportunity for our Athletes to showcase their talents to the public as usually these preparations take place in a closed gym environment.

No scores were kept but it provided a great test for the team ahead of the squad’s departure to a training camp in Assisi, Italy next week with the clock ticking down toward next month’s crucial European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey.

The Lithuania Elite Team have been training with Ireland for the last seven days at the National Stadium’s High Performance Unit.

Olympic hero Katie Taylor was also scheduled to take to the National Stadium’s main ring alongside Ireland’s Elite Men after 4pm, but unfortunately due to a personal commitment which arose yesterday, the IABA were happy to facilitate her request for her test bout with Kurt Walker to take place an hour earlier at 3pm at the adjacent National Stadium gym. Irish Interim Head Coach, Zuari Antia said: “Katie requested that her bout with Kurt be held an hour earlier at 3pm because she had a personal appointment. We were pleased to facilitate her request.”

The IABA would like to apologise to any fans that were disappointed not to see their hero in action.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s boxing fans are in for another treat this weekend with a full Elite Female International also planned for the National Stadium v France which is scheduled to commence at 7.30pm on Saturday 26th March.

Les Bleus arrived in to Ireland on 20th March and have been training with the Irish team. The visiting team includes three champions from the recent French Elite Championships in Paris.

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Picture courtesy of Sportsfile