Row escalates over Moylette missing out on Olympic lifeline

AN elected representative in Mayo has called on the Minister for Sport to take a good, hard look at how boxing in Ireland is funded.

Westport-based Councillor Brendan Mulroy made his call after learning that local boxing star, Ray Moylette, had been denied the opportunity of a box-off against national welterweight champion Dean Walsh to attend the AOB World Olympic qualifiers in Baku next week with the chance of securing selection on the Irish team for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.

Moylette, who lost out controversially to Walsh in the national finals, had expected the box-off to take place, but that's not going to happen after Walsh’s nomination following an IABA training camp in Azerbaijan.

Said Councillor Mulroy: “The minister needs to examine this situation. It is hard for a government to fund a sport that makes up and changes the rules as it goes along. It's time for funding to be cut until they get their house in order.

'The manner in which Ray Moylette has been treated is totally unfair. The sport is not transparent and that’s wrong.”

It was revealed last night by the website, Boxing, that following a week of observation at their training camp in Azerbaijan, Zaur Antia (national coach) has chosen Dean Walsh and Michael O’Reilly to represent Ireland at the AOB World Olympic qualifiers in Baku next week.

Light welterweight Walsh was reported to have fought off competition from bitter rival Ray Moylette and Sean McComb who had moved up from lightweight, while middleweight O’Reilly was chosen above rising Newry star Conor Wallace.

Moylette and Wallace were initially pencilled in for box-offs with the two reigning Irish champs, with the winner of each bout getting an Olympic lifeline.

However, the IABA changed their mind and elected to monitor the four fighters, plus McComb, over a longer period of time and behind closed doors.