Joe Ward named in Irish squad for European Championships

The Moate boxer had been reported of being on the verge of a move into the pros

Joe Ward named in Irish squad for European Championships

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Four Olympians have been named in Ireland's nine-man squad for the upcoming European Championships in Ukraine.

The team is led by London 2012 Olympian Darren O'Neill. Brendan Irvine, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward who all competed in Rio de Janeiro last summer are also named in the squad.

Zaur Antia will be hopeful that his squad can impress in a Championships that has seen Ireland impress in recent years. In the last three Championships, Ireland have won seven golds, three silvers and three bronze medals.

Two-time and defending champion Joe Ward has been named in the 81kg division and looks set to defend his title. The Moate boxer has been rumoured of being on the verge of a move into the professional ranks in recent weeks.

With ten weight classes to be decided in Kharkiv, Ireland have sent a strong team for the event that also acts as the sole European qualifier for the World Championships in Germany later this year.

Every boxer who reaches the quarter-finals will be guaranteed a spot in Hamburg for the World Championships which take place over August and September.

Ireland' boxers travel to Kharkiv at the beginning of June, with the European Championships beginning on June 14th.

Irish squad for the European Elite Men’s Championships

52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls)

56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)

60kg Patrick Mongan (Olympic)

64kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)

69kg Steven Donnelly (All Saints)

75kg Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin)

81kg Joe Ward (Moate)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)