Boxing: 2013 A Golden Year for Irish Amateur Boxing

Updated: December 2, 2013

The IABA Annual Awards Night will be held at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin on December 13th. Tickets are now on sale from the IABA at the National Stadium in Dublin. 

Irish boxers have won 42 medals in eight World and European men’s and women’s Elite, Youth, Junior and School tournaments since June 8th of this year. 

Here the IABA’s PRO, Bernard O’Neill looks back at some of the year’s highlights in the ring: 

“In five of the eight tournaments, Ireland claimed the Best Boxer Award, courtesy of John Joe Nevin, who has since switched codes, Katie Taylor, Jordan Myers, Gary Cully and Ciara Ginty.  Geesala’s Ginty also won the AIBA Best World Female Junior Boxer of 2013 Award. 

Joe Ward created international amateur boxing history this year. The Moate BC southpaw – who secured gold at the 2009 and 2010 AIBA World Junior and Youth Championships in Armenia and Azerbaijan – became the first boxer to win a hat-trick of AIBA medals in three different age classes as a teenager after he claimed bronze at the 2013 AIBA World Elite Championships in Kazakhstan just a few days before his 20th birthday. 

Taylor added another notch to a CV which will probably never be surpassed after she won her 5th successive EU title in Hungary this summer. 

She has now won one Olympic, four World, five European and five European titles – all in a row. She’ll go into 2014 ranked No.1 in the World at lightweight for an unprecedented eight consecutive year.

Nevin departed to the pro ranks after becoming the only Irish boxer – besides Taylor – to medal at all the majors.. 

Similarly, Nevin was also the only Irish boxer besides Taylor to be ranked No. 1 in the World by AIBA, while Jason Quigley, the only Irish male boxer to reach an AIBA World Elite final, shot to No.2 in the AIBA World middleweight rankings after winning World and European silver and gold in 2013. 

In eight of the eight World and European tournaments this year, Team Ireland (with the exception of the Youth class at the AIBA World Women’s Youth and Junior Championships) finished in the top seven places in the medals table. On two occasions, Team Ireland commanded No.2 position. 

Additionally, Ginty and Willie Donoghue both won AIBA World Junior titles in 2013. Taylor, Ward, Ray Moylette, Ginty and Donoghue are the only Irish boxers to win AIBA World gold. 

Gary Cully, Aaron McKenna, Jordan Myers, Kristina O’Hara, Jacqui Lynch, Amy Broadhurst, Grainne Gavin and John Joyce secured the top prizes in European and EU competition in 2013. 

Joyce’s win follows on from his gold medal victory at the 2011 European Schoolboy Championships in Russia. 

Quigley, Ginty, Christine Desmond and Jacqui Lynch, meantime, contributed two medals each to the record medal haul since June. 

“It’s a fantastic achievement all round. Irish boxing has made it presence felt at every major World and European tournament this year. The belief is filtering down through the entire system and our boxers are performing magnificently against the best in the world at all levels,” said Irish head coach Billy Walsh. 

“The coaches and management staff and deserve enormous credit. The contribution of the clubs and coaches cannot be emphasised highly enough. Their contribution is invaluable. 

And finally, St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight Eric Donovan helped the Astana Arlans (Kazakhstan) win the 2012/13 World Series of Boxing (WSB) Championships “. 

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