Boxing

Brendan Irvine 'absolutely sickened' after broken foot forces Euro Games absence

Brendan Irvine followed up his European Games silver medal by qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio the following summer. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

BRENDAN Irvine admits he is “absolutely sickened” after being forced to pull out of the European Games with a broken foot.

The Irish team is bound for the Belarussian capital Minsk today, with the boxing competition running from this Friday until June 30.

However, they leave without their flyweight hope after a “freak accident” sustained during sparring left Irvine in an orthopaedic boot and facing up to eight weeks out of the ring.

“I’m absolutely sickened not to be going out with the team,” said the Rio Olympian.

“I was sparring two Saturdays ago and that’s when it happened. I got an MRI on Tuesday and then the results came back and I was sent to see a foot specialist for a CT scan.

“The ball of my foot, every time I’m putting weight on it, it was just too sore. It felt like my foot was going to snap.”

It is a huge disappointment for ‘Wee Rooster’, who announced his arrival on the international stage as a teenager four years ago when claiming light-fly silver at the inaugural European Games in Baku.

Irvine had only made his return from a long-term wrist injury in February and, having been in great form during the recent international sparring camp at Jordanstown, was heading to the European Games in confident mood.

“My head was wrecked last week trying to process it,” he said.

“I was actually talking to Billy Walsh the other day and he was saying about it being four years ago since we went to this competition - it really kicked everything off for me.

“I was flying in the camp, everything was going so well, my hand was feeling good, I was sparring good… it’s just unfortunate.

“It was basically like a freak accident.”

As with the 81kg spot on the team, vacated after Joe Ward turned pro in the past fortnight, losing Irvine comes too late in the day for a replacement to be called up.

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