Reigning European champion Paddy Barnes is out of the Irish squad for next week’s European boxing championships in Turkey.
The Belfast man who won gold in Moscow at 48kg 12 months ago has a hand injury that has not responded to treatment and so will not depart Dublin with the squad this afternoon.
With the world championships and Olympic qualifier just three months away Barnes would run the risk of further aggravating the injury and so will not travel.
Irish head coach Billy Walsh said: ‘Paddy was eagerly looking forward to defending his title in Turkey but the injury has prevented him from doing that.
‘It’s a big blow to the Irish squad as we have lost a European champion to injury. The important thing now is that Paddy gets back to full fitness for the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku