Irish middleweight champion Darren O’Neill will box at light-heavyweight at the Ostrava Grand Prix in the Czech Republic.
O’Neill, a silver medal winner at the 2010 European Senior Championships at the Ice Palace in Moscow, has been named in a nine-man squad for the tournament.
The Ostrava Grand Prix won’t represent the first time that the Paulstown (Kilkenny) club man, who will be aiming for his third senior title on the trot at next years Elite Senior Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin, has boxed at 81Kg.
Three years ago he met and beat (23-10) China’s Xiaoping Zhang en route to light-heavyweight gold in the GeeBee Multi-Nations in Finland. Zhang beat Ken Egan in the 2008 Olympic final in Beijing.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and getting some competitive bouts under my belt in the Czech Republic, said O’Neill. “The important one for me is my Irish senior title however.
Next year will be another big year, but my immediate focus is now on the Czech Republic tournament and getting some competitive bouts and taking it from there.”
Meanwhile, John Joe Nevin, who claimed a bronze medal at the 2009 AIBA World Senior Championships, 2008 AIBA World Youth champion Ray Moylette, European Youth champion Jason Quigley, European bronze medalist Eric Donovan and European Union champion Con Sheehan will also compete in the Czech Republic.
Gary Molloy, Willie McLaughlin and Sean Turner have also been named on a formidable looking Irish squad.
Meantime, European Union champion champ David Oliver Joyce has been called up to the Irish Pre Elite squad for the Tammer Multi-Nations in Tampere, Finland.
Joyce’s St Michael’s Athy team-mate Roy Sheahan, who claimed a gold medal at the 2007 European Union Championships in Dublin, 2008 European Championships bronze medalist Ross Hickey, Ryan Lindberg and Declan Geraghty have also been included in the five-man Irish team.
Irish Elite squad Ostrava Grand Prix Czech Republic October 13th/17th
52 kg: Gary Molloy (Moate)
56 kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan)
60 kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy)
64 kg: Ray Moylette (St Anne’s)
69 kg: Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG)
75 kg: Jason Quigley (Finn Valley)
81 kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
90 kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel)
91+kg: Sean Turner (Drimnagh)
Team Manager: Dessie Donelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh & Tony Davitt
R&J: Eddie Cummins
Irish Pre-Elite squad Tammer Multi- Nations Tampere Finland October 13th/18th
52Kg: Declan Geraghty (Corinthians)
56Kg: Ryan Lindberg (Immaculata)
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
64Kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
69Kg: Roy Sheahan (St Michael’s Athy)
Team Manager: Paddy Osbourne
Coaches: Jimmy Halpin & Paddy Osbourne
R&J: Tom McGahern