Bernard Dunne says departure from Indian boxing down to contract issues

Former world champion says Boxing Federation of India were not paying his salary

Former WBA super bantamweight world champion and Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) high-performance director Bernard Dunne has issued a statement following his resignation as head of Indian Boxing. Dunne resigned from the post in February.

In the statement Dunne says that he left Indian boxing because terms of his contract were not met by his employers.

“It is with deep regret that I confirm that I resigned as the High Performance Director with the Boxing Federation of India in February and will be returning to Ireland,” said the statement.

“My decision to resign is due entirely to the inability of the Federation to pay my salary for the services provided, under the terms of the contract signed when I joined the Federation.


“I wish to make it clear that I have nothing but respect for the Federation, its management team and the many athletes I have had the privilege of working with along with my colleagues on the high-performance support staff.

“The ongoing inability to make the regular salary payments has been an unacceptable distraction for me during my time in the role. As the Federation and the Sports authority of India have been unable to resolve their funding issues in order to meet their financial commitments, I was forced to take this regrettable decision in February 2024. It is very upsetting for me and my team that I had to take this decision as these great athletes are preparing for the Olympics, but I have been left with no other option but to return to Ireland at this time.

“During my two years as High Performance Director, I have had the privilege to contribute and assist in helping the high-performance team win seven World medals in 2023, five Asian Games medals in 2023 and twelve Asian championship medals in 2022. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the athletes in India and I wish the team well in the future as they continue their Olympic journey.”

Dunne won his world title in 2009 and the European Championship in 2007. He also guided Team Ireland to two boxing medals in Tokyo, including gold for Kellie Harrington.

The Boxing Federation of India were contacted by email but did not respond.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times