For those in the know, or with the ability to recall things that happened prior to 2012, the ‘Irish Boxing Is On the Ropes’ talk is as wide of the mark as that now-infamous Olympic belly flop dive.
Irish boxing has never been stronger. Okay Rio hasn’t started as we would have liked, but if you look at each case individually, it’s more Fair City than Hollywood dramatic.
Where are the death knells for athletics, swimming, gymnastics and other sports we have no hope of medalling in?
David Oliver Joyce lost to one of the best operators across the weights in Rio, something that has happened in previously Olympiads. Granted Joe Ward under performed, but would have progressed but for two public warnings. While the great Paddy Barnes struggled at the weight, 49kg, a weight more associated with teenage girls than 29 year old men.
Outside of Rio we have young kids winning medals in male and female codes across the globe and the future continues to look bright.
There is no crisis and we have talent at our disposal. However, people may have questions as to how that talent is managed.
The high profile departure of Billy Walsh has reared its head and people have differing opinions regarding the Wexford man’s move to the US Team, even within the fight family.
Talk to most of the High Performance operators and most, while quite content to see Walsh stay, would be quick to point out that his departure wouldn’t prove massively detrimental.
Indeed, some suggested losing Zaur Antia would have proved a bigger blow to the sport at the highest amateur level in this country.
It’s something Irish captain Paddy Barnes has been quick to point out this week.
“Anyone that thinks Billy Walsh is the reason for any Irish loss doesn’t no anything about Irish amateur boxing and that’s a fact!,” Barnes wrote on Twitter.
Barnes also added that he has been fully behind Walsh and his decision to leave Ireland for the States.
“Coaching one of the world biggest countries in the world and being paid a hell of a lot more money? I’m happy for him!”
However, London 2012 silver medalist John Joe Nevin, however, has suggested Walsh’s departure has become noticeable in Rio.
“It’s easy to have an off day but as I said last year when Billy Walsh left he is a big loss my view best coaching the world a true legend!,” Nevin wrote on Twitter.