Dean Gardiner (red) in action


Team Ireland depart for Romania tomorrow morning ahead of the opening bell for the Nicolae Linca Golden Belt in Galati.

Irish boxing has named a formidable looking squad including World Elite finalists Joe Ward and Kellie Harrington for the tournament.

Irish female and male boxing is building toward November’s World Women’s Elite Championships and EU Men’s Elite Championships in India and Spain.

Ward, a three-time European Elite Champion, remarked that he’s looking forward to getting some bouts under his belt ahead of the EU Championships and next year’s Olympic qualifiers.

The Galati multi-nations is named after Nicolae Linca who won Olympic gold for Romanian at  Melbourne 1956 after edging Ireland’s Fred Tiedt on a split decision in the welterweight final.

Tiedt, one of seven Irish boxers, John McNally (1952), Tiedt (1956), Michael Carruth (1992), Wayne McCullough (1992), Ken Egan (2008), Katie Taylor (2012) and John Joe Nevin (2012), to reach an Olympic final, claimed European Elite bronze for Ireland in Prague a year after the Melbourne 67kg decider.

Under today’s rules, it’s estimated the Dubliner would have picked up enough ranking points for his Olympic and European medals to be ranked in the Top 5 in the AIBA World rankings in his weight class.

Meantime, Loughlin Gannon, an AIBA 2 Star R&J, will also be between the ropes in Romania.

Boxing begins at the Nicolae Linca Golden Belt on Wednesday.

Nicolae Linca Elite Golden Belt Galati, Romania September 25/30

Irish squad


52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard)

56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)

64kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)

69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

81kg Joe Ward (Sparticus)

91kg Kirill Afanasev (Smithfield)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)


51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan/Virginia)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monktown)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)

69kg Gráinne Walsh (Sparticus)


Zauri Antia

John Conlan

Tom Murray

Team Manager

Eugene O’Kane


Séamus Caffrey

Loughlin Gannon