Ireland name strong team to face France in Stadium on Friday

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association have named a team packed with current and former Elite champions and Olympians for Friday’s Elite international clash with France at the National Stadium in Dublin.

Two-time Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes and Adam Courtney have been named in the flyweight class for the visit of Les Bleus.

Hugh Myers and exciting Belfast prospect Brendan Irvine line out at light-fly, while AIBA World Youth bronze medallist Kurt Walker and Gary McKenna will wear the Irish bantamweight vests.

The experienced George Bates and World Elite quarter-finalist Sean McComb carry Ireland’s lightweight hopes. Dean Walsh, Ross Hickey and London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan will also be in action at the South Circular Road venue.

Billy walshIrish head coach Billy Walsh, pictured left with fellow Irish coach Zuar Antia, is anticipating an exciting and competitive international at the home of Irish boxing.

He said: “France are building toward the Olympic qualifiers like ourselves and they have a talented squad coming to Dublin. We met a few of their boxers at the European Union Championships earlier this year and those were very tough bouts.

“We’re anticipating a very competitive meeting on Friday at the National Stadium.There will be no easy bouts against this talented French team.”

“We’ve had some great battles with France down through the years. This is a new emerging French team, and, as they proved at the European Union Championships, they are starting to come good again as we head into the qualifiers for the Rio Olympics.”

Multiple Irish Elite champion Darren O’Neill, who captained Team Ireland at the London Olympics, believes that the meeting with France is an ideal way for Ireland’s established stars and emerging prospects to bid adieu to 2014 and build up toward 2015.

O’Neill also wants to see the Irish team build on the feel good factor generated by Katie Taylor’s historic gold medal win at the AIBA World Elite Women’s Championships in Jeju, South Korea on Monday.

“The French international is a good chance for people to view some of our well known top stars such as Paddy Barnes. It also gives people a chance to view some of our lesser known, up and coming stars such as Dean Walsh, said the Kilkenny southpaw and European Elite silver medallist.

“It is a good way to close off the season and year ahead of a hectic Christmas before Nationals in the New Year and important and busy year next that includes European and World Championships along with the first ever European Games.

“With some of our boys preparing to enter the WSB franchises it is also a good blow out for them to measure their fitness and levels before competition.”

Boxing begins at 7:30pm on Friday evening. Tickets for the November 28th International are competitively priced at €10 for Adults and €5 for children under 14 years of age. All tickets can be purchased at the door on the night of the event or reserved in advance by contacting the Ticket Office on 01 – 453 3371.

Irish squad

49kg Hugh Myers (Ryston) Brendan Irvine (St Pauls, Antrim)
52kg Paddy Barnes (Holy Family) Adam Courtney (St Marys)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) Gary McKenna (Old School)
60kg George Bates (St Marys) Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
64kg Dean Walsh (St Ibars/St Josephs) Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
69kg Adam Nolan (Bray)
75kg Emmet Brennan (St Saviours)
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuare Antia, John Conlan, Eddie Bolger

French squad

49kg Anthony Chapat/Jean-Michel braganza
52kg Elie Konki/Gevia Marcus
56kg Samuel Kistohurry/Anthony Bret
60kg Sofiane Oumiha Maxime Devignaud
64kg Malik Abdel Ladjali/Hass Amzile
69kg Daouda Sangare
75kg Bengoro Bamba
91kg Djbril Coupe

Team Leader/Coach Kevin Rabaud (National Technical Director)
Coach: John Mbumba
Physio Lorenzo Pacheco Martines
R&J: Serge Hermosilla and Laurent Zuli

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