IABA say Billy Walsh discussions an issue of ‘utmost urgency’

Ireland boxing coach presently on holidays but named as coach for upcoming trip to to Poland

Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia have been named as coaches for the Ireland team to travel to the Feliks Stamm tournament in Poland on September 9th. Photograph: Kostadin Andonov/Inpho

Billy Walsh and Zaur Antia have been named as coaches for the Ireland team to travel to the Feliks Stamm tournament in Poland on September 9th. Photograph: Kostadin Andonov/Inpho

 

Confusion continues to surround the standoff in Irish boxing between Billy Walsh and the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) despite a statement released on Monday by the governing body.

Walsh, who was reported to have accepted an offer to head up US women’s boxing in Colorado, was named on Monday as coach to the Irish men’s boxing team, which will compete in Warsaw, Poland on September 9th. The statement confirms that Walsh has not resigned from his position as head coach of the Irish boxing team.

Two times Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes, along with five other boxers, Brendan Irvine, Seán McComb, Wayne Kelly, Michael O’Reilly and Cavan’s top female boxer, Ceire Smith will take part in the Feliks Stamm tournament, where Walsh is named as one of coaches alongside Zaur Antia.

The IABA released a statement saying that Walsh continued to be an employee and that he was currently on holidays. He was in Kerry at the weekend. It does not say if the IABA have made attempts to talk to him.

Second Captains

It is the first statement on the controversy from the IABA despite the Irish Sports Council expressing their disappointment last week about the way the entire affair has been handled.

The IABA met in the National Stadium on Monday, where the Boxing Council had talks with the IABA board.

“This is an employer/employee matter,” said the statement. “Billy Walsh is currently on annual leave and has not tendered his resignation to the IABA. This is an issue of the utmost urgency for the IABA and is being dealt with accordingly.

“The IABA will release a full and thorough statement once these discussions have concluded. Any further comment would be unhelpful and inappropriate in these circumstances,” it added.

As Walsh has been officially named as coach with the Irish team on the IABA website, it suggests that the governing body expects him to be around for several more weeks in the run up to this year’s World Championships.

The Championships take place in Doha, Qatar from October 5th-15th.

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