The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has named Irish boxing legend Bernard Dunne, who has produced Olympic and world champions, as the director of high performance for Indian boxing.
Dunne will be joining the Indian team following a five-year stint with Irish Athletic Boxing Association, serving in the same position.
Talking about the appointment of Dunne, BFI president Ajay Singh said, “We are delighted to announce Bernard Dunne as the high-performance director of the Indian team. He was a legendary boxer and has also done exceptionally well while working with the Ireland team. As a federation, we are focussed on doing everything that is required for our boxers to bring glory to the country. This is a major boost to our aim of winning medals at the Paris Olympics. With the amount of experience and success he has under his belt, he is the perfect fit for this role. I’m sure Dunne will guide our boxers to the next level of performance. We welcome him and wish him the best luck.”
During Dunne’s tenure with the Ireland team, Kellie Harrington emerged the Olympic champion in Tokyo as well as the world champion in 2018. He also guided Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke to gold medals at the last World Championships, and Aidan Walsh to bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games.
“Indian boxing has been on the rise and this is our effort in giving them an edge to win more and more medals at the international stage. Dunne is a big name in boxing and has helped boxers win medals at big stages. His presence will definitely motivate our boxers,” added Hemanta Kumar Kalita, Secretary General, BFI.
The 42-year-old will take over charge of the position which was left vacant after Santiago Nieva’s departure. Indian boxers have produced brilliant performances in the last few years at the prestigious events including World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. The arrival of the Irishman surely comes as a significant step for the development of Indian boxing.
“India has huge boxing talent and its boxers have been performing exceedingly well. It will be a great opportunity for me to work with them and contribute to their success. I’m very excited to join the team and take the standards of Indian boxing to a new high altogether,” said Dunne, who is also a renowned name in professional boxing, having won the WBA World Championship (2009) and the European Championship (2007).
Dunne led the Irish high-performance boxing team from 2017 to 2022 and under his leadership they performed at the highest level, winning European, World and Olympics gold medals. Dunne has stated that his goal is to perform similar work with the BFI and bring pride to the people of India through the performance of his teams.
Dunne, who has 13 national titles to his name, has joined the Indian boxing elite programme at Patiala.