Some of the world’s top boxers and coaches were in situ for the Liffey Crane Irish Elite Championship finals promotional launch at the Ringside Club adjacent to the National Stadium this morning.

Liffey Crane proudly sponsor Irish amateur boxing.

Ireland finest will go head-to-head for Elite gold on Saturday in the year of the 80th anniversary of the official opening of the National Stadium in 1939.

AIBA World Elite Elite champion Kellie Harrington attended today’s launch. The Dubliner meets Jelena Jelic in an international bout on finals night.

Jelic, who lost to Katie Taylor on a Kanturk BC hosted show at the Mallow GAA club in 2016, can’t wait to step in the ring at the home of Irish boxing.

“I have fought the best in the world several times and I am more than ready for it again. When I fight someone I see them for whom they are and not what they are, I don’t care about that, said Serbia-born Jelic who boxes for Sweden.

“I’ve only had two weeks to prepare but I have been training long before I was asked to fight her. This is my first fight since I became Swedish champion in December.”

Harrington won’t be the only St Mary’s BC athletes between the ropes at the weekend as George Bates, the 2018 lightweight champion (60kg), meets Commonwealth Elite medallist and former Commonwealth Youth champion James McGivern for the light-welter title (63kg) on a busy night for St Mary’s BC chief seconds Noel Burke and staff.

Antrim stylist McGivern believes there’s only one place to be on finals night – and that’s not outside the ropes.

“Finals are where I belong… two nights in the Ulster finals so I’ll be used to this. George is a great fighter and last year’s 60kg champion so I’ve no doubt it’ll be a tough, tough fight. But I’m confident,” he said.

Galway’s defending welterweight champion Kieran Molloy and Limerick’s 2015 World Junior finalist Paddy Donovan battle it out for supremacy in an all southpaw showdown.

“It was great to get it over and done (semi-final victory) with now and focus on the final. I’m very confident of getting the job done again next weekend,” said Molloy, who claimed his first Elite belt and the Best Boxer Award last year.

Donovan impressed in his win over 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist Aidan Walsh last time out.

“It’s going to be a great match up (versus Molloy), southpaw versus southpaw,” said the Treaty City leftie.

Galway middleweight Gabriel Dossen bounced back, quite literally, from a freak knee injury in sparring to win his semi-final against Brett McGinty last Saturday and goes head-to-head with Dublin’s 2017 Elite champion Emmett Brennan who outpointed Fearghus Quinn in the last four.

”I thought my performance was very good for someone that was on crutches and told three days prior to the fight that I wasn’t going to be able, said Dossen.

“My plan is to do what I do best and that’s my movement and clean long scores. Those skills are what’s got me here. Really excited to go out there and put in a show.”

Meanwhile, the hand of history and a proud family legacy will be on Tommy Hyde’s shoulder.

Almost three-quarters of a century ago, Hyde’s great grand uncle, also Tommy Hyde, beat Billy O’Mahony on points in the welterweight finals on February 23, 1946, to bring an Elite belt back to Cork.

Seventy-three years later, Hyde junior, who has Danny Fitzpatrick, Brian Cronin and Keith Williams working his corner, will fight for Elite gold under the same roof on February 23.

“I’m very confident as always. I’m in this to win it and I’m nearly there now. Looking forward to next weekend now, seventy years to the day since my grand uncle won the title.”

Please click here and here for finals lines ups and results so far.

Pictures from today’s launch courtesy of Tara Robins Mari