Dunne in pole position to become India boxing high performance director

Irishman is expected to take over the key post and help pugilists get ready for 2024 Paris Olympics.
Former Irish professional boxer Bernard Dunne.
Former Irish professional boxer Bernard Dunne.

It has been a while since Santiago Nieva moved away from Indian boxing, leaving the role of high performance director vacant. There are murmurs that his replacement could arrive soon. This newspaper has learnt that Bernard Dunne, a former Irish World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight champion, is favourite to fill in that post.

Dunne had a rich career as a professional boxer with 28 wins in 30 fights (15 wins by knockout). He was associated with the Irish Athletic Boxing Association as their high performance director from 2017 until May this year. Dunne had earned high respect from many amateur boxers including Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington during his time there.

It is learnt that he's close to finalising an agreement with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). Like Nieva, Dunne, 42, is a young face and will be looking to pick up from where the former left off and help Indian pugilists get all the tools required to be a success at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

If things go according to plan, Dunne could join as early as the beginning of next month. That could be ideal for the Indian boxers, who put up a creditable show during the recently-held Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The Indians finished second behind Northern Ireland in the overall standings with seven medals (3G, 1S and 3B).

Next year will be vital for the Paris aspirants as the Olympic qualifiers will be held. That is one reason why the federation and SAI are keen to bring in Dunne. It is also learnt that the BFI and the SAI are in the process of finalising a foreign coach.

Iran trip for men

Both the men's and women's camp are currently underway at SAI, Patiala. All the No 2-ranked boxers will travel to foreign shores as part of an exposure tour.
The men's team, comprising 17 members (13 boxers, 3 coaches and a physio) will be participating in the International Training Camp in Iran from August 28 to September 6. Deepak Bhoria, Kavinder Singh Bisht and Govind Kumar Sahani are some of the names who'll be part of the tour.

Poland test for women
Some of the women boxers will also be in action soon. Former World Championships medallists Manju Rani and Jamuna Boro are part of the 17-member batch who'll be taking part in the International Silesian Women's Boxing Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Poland from September 4-11. Both the trips have been approved by the government.

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The New Indian Express