Irish Boxers selected for European Union Championship

June 11, 2009


The Irish squad are presently in training camp in Paris with their French counterparts ahead of the tournament which has attracted 20 nations.

Irish boxers have claimed eight gold, seven silver and four bronze medals at European Union Championships level since the inaugural tournament in Strasbourg, France in 2003.

Dublin light heavyweight Ken Egan leads the way with a record haul of three gold, one silver and one bronze.

Ireland took home five medals from Strasbourg – but Andy Lee and Egan, with Ireland’s first gold medal win at this level in Italy in 2005 – were the only Irish boxers to finish in podium positions at the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Championships.

However, the medals started rolling in one year later at the National Stadium in Dublin after Egan, Darren Sutherland, Roy Sheahan, Carl Frampton and Cathal McMonagle plundered three golds and two silvers.

That haul saw Ireland finish on top of the medals table in the 21-nation tournament.

One year later, Irish boxers surpassed that total away from home; Egan, Sutherland, David Oliver Joyce, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Con Sheehan winning four gold and two silver medals between them.

England won four gold, three silver and one bronze at the same tournament.

But in the only direct head-to-heads between both nations, Egan beat Tony Jeffries and Sutherland beat James DeGale in the 81kg and 75kg finals.

Both bouts were forerunners for the light heavyweight and middleweight Olympic semi-finals in Beijing in August 2008.

Egan can create a unique piece of EU Championships boxing history by becoming the only Irish boxer to win three golds in a row if he finishes on top of the 81kg rostrum at the Odense Sports Centre in Denmark next week.

Irish squad:

48kg: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
51kg: Declan Geraghty (Dublin Docklands)
54kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan)
57kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy)
64kg: Philip Sutcliffe (Crumlin)
69kg: Willie McLoughlin (Illies GG)
75kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
81kg: Ken Egan (Neilstown)
91kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel)

Coaches: Billy Walsh & Zuar Antia

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