Irish Amateur Boxing Association announces World Championships Squad

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) recently announced its squad for the 2011 AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan beginning on September 26th. It includes five-time Irish Elite champion light-flyweight Paddy Barnes, flyweight Michael Conlon, bantamweight John Joe Nevin, lightweight David Oliver Joyce, light-welterweight Ray Moylette, welterweight Roy Sheehan, middleweight Darren O'Neill, 2011 European Senior champion light-heavyweight Joe Ward, heavyweight Ken Egan and super-heavyweight Con Sheehan.

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association oversees the sport in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, its influence extending into all 32 counties. It's not difficult to understand the high esteem in which the sport is held in Ireland - it's the source of the countries largest total haul of Olympic medals, a total of 12 including Michael Carruth's welterweight gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Such is the country's verve for the sport, it was the first nation in the world to construct a purpose-built boxing stadium, the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin, at the behest of the President of the IABA at the time, General W.R.E. Murphy. The 2,000 capacity arena opened in 1939 and has been used by the association for over 60 years.

The Irish boxing association for amateur competition is the governing body for both the men's and the women's game. Split into four councils to cover the four provinces of Ireland - Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster - it provides coaching and training to the best young players in the game, and support to established stars who compete all over the world.

2011 is the centenary year of the association.

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