Heads of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) have been anxious to ensure that this summer’s returning Olympic boxing stars fared better than the Beijing vintage from four years ago at settling back into their lives post Olympic Games.
The IABA’s efforts seem to be working. While Kenneth Egan went on countless drinking binges after winning an Olympic silver medal and Darren Sutherland tragically committed suicide barely one year after winning Olympic boxing bronze back in Beijing, the four Irish boxers who brought back medals from London are all being watched over with an eagle eye or two.
The governing body of amateur boxing in Ireland have been anxious to be seen to do the right thing by sponsors, fans, the media and other interested parties.
London silver medalist John Joe Nevin has signed up to two charity fights over the next fortnight as he is still in the process of deciding whether or not to turn pro. Two time Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes was in a Portlaoise hospital this week to visit a man who has a terminal illness.
Of course, saintly Katie Taylor and Michael Conlon – both set to stay amateur until 2016 – are most unlikely to cause Billy Walsh any dramas. So much has changed in the space of four years.