Paddy Barnes is the only Irish boxer to have won two Olympic medals
Paddy Barnes is the only Irish boxer to have gained two Olympic medals

Sport Northern Ireland claims Thursday’s announcement that boxing will not form part of the 2028 Olympic programme in Los Angeles is a “overall body blow”.

Boxing is Ireland’s most successful activity at the Olympics with 18 medals.

“Without having boxing at the Olympics younger people today are staying stripped of the prospect to attain their existence ambitions,” said Sport NI CEO Antoinette McKeown.

The activity could however be extra at a later day if issues within novice boxing’s federation are resolved.

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee session in Beijing permitted a programme of 28 sporting activities, with a “robust emphasis on youth”.

Boxing, together with weightlifting and present day pentathlon, could be extra to the programme up coming year if they correctly show they have addressed difficulties in their respective athletics.

Boxing’s global federation, the AIBA, have to present it has addressed issues close to the sport’s governance and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

In September, an impartial investigation identified a program to manipulate the end result of boxing matches by officials was in area at the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Belfast fighter Michael Conlan’s controversial exit from the Game titles.

‘Boxing has damaged down barriers’

Sport NI said the announcement was of “excellent worry” and it must ensure that boxing “does not go through a knockout”.

“As well as peak bodily fitness, the self-discipline, assurance and determination boxing instills, offers our young people today with substantial existence abilities, normally seeing the greatest effects in communities of maximum social deprivation,” added McKeown.

“From Wayne McCullough, Paddy Barnes, Michael & Jamie Conlon, and our most the latest medalist Aidan Walsh, a pantheon of Olympians have inspired our young folks for lots of generations and the Olympic Game titles is the pinnacle of individuals hopes and dreams.

“Boxing has constantly broken down obstacles, and in latest years its initiatives to see women of all ages enter the ring has been vastly encouraging. We have outstanding purpose versions this sort of as Kellie Harrington – Olympic Gold medalist and Michaela Walsh – European, Entire world and Commonwealth medalist, and Katie Taylor, who has gone on to split all records in women’s skilled boxing.

“Sport NI will be participating with Activity Ireland, the Irish Beginner Boxing Affiliation, and each British and Irish Olympic Federations to push for development at worldwide stage and see our young boxers in a position to showcase their abilities in the ring at Los Angeles 2028.”

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