At a time when the IABA is struggling to hold on to its leading ‘amateurs’, John Joe Nevin and Conrad Cummings have already turned profession and at least three others believed to be seriously contemplating a similar switch.
Important for followers of the sport in Ireland to see how the next generation of potential Olympians (male and female) is progressing so Dublin’s National Stadium is to place to be on Friday when the 2014 Irish Open Youth Championship Finals take place.
2014 is a hugely important year for Ireland’s young boxers with major international events culminating in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing,China in August. Here to preview Finals night’s impressive card is the IABA’s Bernard O’Neill :
“Thirteen finals will be decided at the Open Youth Championships at Dublin’s National Stadium on Friday night.
Ten male finals are pencilled in for decision, along with three female finals in the three Olympic women’s weight categories of flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.
Liam Callaghan and Brendan Irvine get proceedings underway in the light-flyweight class, while Lauren Hogan and EU Youth champion Kristina O’Hara clash in the women’s flyweight final.
Current AIBA World Junior champion Willie Donoghue meets Frankie Cleary, a European Junior silver medallist last year, in the men’s flyweight gold medal match.
Gary Cully, the current European Youth champion, is in against Tramore BC bantamweight Conor Walsh.
Meanwhile, current AIBA World Junior Women’s champion Ciara Ginty meets Cheyanne O’Neill of the Athlone BC . Pat McDonagh, Ginty’s coach at the Geesala BC, is anticipating a cracking contest.
“Cheyanne had a fantastic win last weekend and she is obviously boxing very well. Ciara is preparing for a very tough bout and she is confident going into the final,” he said.
Cork southpaw Christine Desmond, a silver medal winner at the 2013 AIBA World Youth Championships, goes head-to-head Galway’s Niamh Folan in the women’s middleweight final.
Desmond will be aiming for her tenth Irish title at the weekend. The Munster and Connaught duo claimed National Intermediate belts last November – as did Kristina O’Hara – in the 66kg and 70kg classes.
Friday’s boxing begins at 7pm.
The Irish Amateur Boxing Association are using the Open Youth Championships as part of their selection process for the AIBA World Men’s and Women’s Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in April.
Sofia 2014 is the only qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August.
Weight classification for 2014 AIBA World Youth Championships Sofia 2014
46-49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg, 91+kg
48–51kg, 57-60kg, 69–75kg
In theory, 13 boxers per country can qualify for Nanjing 2014. However, Olympic Youth Games berths are restricted to three males and two females per country per weight class.
(Youth Olympic Games qualification guidelines)
The top ranked five (5) Boxers from different NOCs in each weight category at Sofia 2014 will qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The allocation of qualification places from the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships is limited to a maximum of three (3) Boxers per country/NOC.
In the case of one country winning more than three (3) qualification places at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, the country must select its final choice of three (3) athletes (1 Boxer per weight category) within the given deadline set by AIBA.
The top ranked four (4) women Boxers from different NOCs in each weight category at Sofia 2014 will qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The allocation of qualification places from the AIBA Women’s Youth Olympic Qualifying Event is limited to a maximum of two (2) Boxers per country/NOC.
In the case of one country winning more than two (2) qualification places at the AIBA Women’s Youth Olympic Qualifying Event, the country must select its final choice of two (2) Boxers (1 Boxer per weight category) within the given deadline set by AIBA.
(Ryan Burnett and Joe Ward qualified for the 2010 Olympic Youth Games in Singapore courtesy of reaching the 2010 AIBA World Youth finals in Baku, Azerbaijan, where Ward won gold. Burnett won an historic gold medal for Ireland at the 2010 Olympic Youth Games).
Open Youth Championships Finals January 24th National Stadium Dublin (7pm)
49kg Liam Callaghan (Carndonagh) v Brendan Irvine (St Pauls A)
F51kg Lauren Hogan (St Bridget’s Edenderry) v Kristina O’Hara (Emerald U)
52kg Willie Donoghue (St Michaels Athy) v Frankie Cleary (Olympic)
56kg Gary Cully (St David’s Naas) v Conor Walsh (Tramore)
F60kg Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone) v Ciara Ginty (Geesala)
60kg Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart O) v Aidan Walsh (Holy Family GG)
64kg Shane O’Neill (St David’s Naas) v Wayne Kelly (Ballinacargy)
69kg Michael Reilly (Tramore) v Caomhin Hynes (Holy Trinity)
F75kg Christine Desmond (Macroom) v Niamh Folan (Conamara)
75kg Fergus Quinn (Camlough) v Luke Thomas (Watergrasshill)
81kg Cormac Long (Rathkeale) v Sean Conroy (Ballyhaunis)
91kg Gary Maughan (Cavan) v Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley)
91+kg Niall Gallagher (Sean McDermott) v Shane Ward (Titans)