Rio Olympians Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s BC, Antrim) and Joe Ward could be the first Irish boxers in action on Day 2 of the World Elite Championships in Hamburg, Germany next month.
The flyweights and light-heavyweights are in action on August 26, although Ward, the current European champion who reached the 2015 World Elite final, is likely to get a bye. Irvine, a European Elite bronze medallist, will also be seeded.
Ward (Moate BC, Westmeath) will be appearing in his fourth successive World Championships since debuting at this level as a 17-year-old in 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan where he was edged out on the dreaded countback to Iran’s Eshan Rozbahani after a 15-15 draw under the old computer scoring system.
Irvine is also a silver medallist from the 2015 European Games. The super-heavyweights are also out on August 26th in Hamburg.
Kurt Walker (Canal BC, Antrim), also a European bronze medallist, and Sean McComb’s (Holy Trinity BC, Belfast) bantam and light-welter classes are between the ropes on August 27th.
McComb, who beat Russia’s current World Elite champion, Vitaliy Dunaytsev, not once, but twice in 2017, is pleased with his performances this season.
“I beat the World (2015) and European (2015) champion and Olympic (2016) bronze medallist this year. If I perform anywhere near as good again I’ll have a good worlds, he said.
“I can’t remember having a bad performance this year. I got the tactics right with Zaur (Zaur Antia, Irish head coach) in the corner. There’s every chance of winning a medal.”
“All the training is backed up,” said Walker, who has his eye on another podium finish at an AIBA ranking event in Hamburg.“I know I can do it, I have the confidence now so I’m just going to do it.”
Team Ireland leave for their final training camp at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in early August.