Irish boxing is building toward the upcoming National Elite Men’s and Women’s Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin.
The flagship tournament of Irish boxing will be the first since November/December 2015, as the IABA ran the Elite Championships twice the year before last to facilitate Ireland’s boxers heading into the qualifiers for Rio 2016.
As things stand, two of the male and female belts are vacant and both have been vacated by Bray BC team-mates and London 2012 Olympians after Katie Taylor turned pro and Adam Nolan hung up his gloves.
The men’s middleweight title is also vacant.
Taylor beat Shauna O’Keeffe, the only woman to challenge the London 2012 Olympic champion for an Irish belt at the National Stadium, in November 2015 and Nolan claimed his fifth and final Elite crown at the expense of Michael Stokes a few weeks later.
The first Elite Championships of 2015 was held in January of that year.
Lauran Hogan, Michaela Walsh, Dervla Duffy, Kellie Harrington, Clare Grace and Dianna Campbell won two National Elite titles each in 2015 and Brendan Irvine, Kurt Walker, Dean Walsh, Adam Nolan, Michael O’Reilly, Darren O’Neill and Dean Gardiner claimed two apiece in the men’s tournament, Rio Olympian Irvine securing his double at different weights (light-fly and fly).
Defending Elite Male champions
49kg Stephen McKenna
52kg Brendan Irvine
56kg Kurt Walker
60kg David Oliver Joyce
64kg Dean Walsh
81kg JP Delaney
91kg Darren O’Neill
91+kg Dean Gardiner
Defending Elite Female champions
Meantime, the men’s tournament at the home of Irish boxing has particular significance, as the 2017 European Men’s Elite Championships will be held at the host city to be confirmed in June or July, while the 2017 Men’s World Elite Championships are slated for Hamburg, Germany from August 25th to September 3rd.
The European Elites will act as the only qualifier for the 19th edition of the World Elites which will feature 280 boxers. Ten places go to the host nation and ten wild cards are available, one in each weight, leaving 260 places up for grabs through the various Continental routes through Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
The European Elites yields 80 places, eight in each weight, for the World Elites. Likewise, boxers reaching the quarter-finals at the Europeans, which has the highest quota of all the Continents, book tickets for Hamburg.
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