RTE have named a formidable looking boxing squad for Rio 2016.
Joint World No. 4 ranked light-welter and AIBA World Elite silver medallist Kellie Harrington makes her TV debut outside the ropes.
She joins Olympic champion Michael Carruth, an AIBA World Elite bronze medallist, also at light-welterweight, two-time Olympian and eight-time Irish Elite champion Mick Dowling and ex Irish Elite and WBA champion Bernard Dunne.The quartet will provide expert analysis.
Unbeaten Montrose southpaw, Jimmy “Memory Man” Magee, is in the commentary box along with multiple Irish Elite champion and European bronze medallist Eric Donovan, who convincingly won on his pro debut at the National Stadium in Dublin last month, a venue he graced in his stand out amateur career.
Harrington became the first Irish woman besides Katie Taylor to reach an AIBA World Elite final in Kazakhstan earlier this year. She’s the fifth Irish boxer to make a World Elite decider this century after Jason Quigley and Rio Olympians Michael Conlan, Joe Ward and Taylor.
Unfortunately for Irish and international boxing, light-welter is not an Olympic weight for women. Female boxing is restricted to three weights – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) have indicated that this might be improved to five weights for Tokyo 2020. But for now female boxing has to make do with 36 of 286 Olympic places,12% of the quota.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s male Olympians are in training camp at a Naval base in Rio ahead of the opening bell for male boxing on August 6 at the 9,000 capacity Pavilion 6 venue for the 31st Olympiad.
The team move into the Olympic village on July 29. Katie Taylor joins her compatriots on August 2. Women’s boxing begins on August 12.
Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Brendan Irvine, Michael Conlan, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Donnelly, Michael O’Reilly and Joe Ward will represent Irish boxing in Rio.