Carlow boxing and Muay Thai heroine, Chloe Black, and her proud father Eric took to RTÉ’s Liveline on Wednesday to vent their frustrations over Chloe not being allowed to box in the National Finals last weekend.
The father and daughter duo – along with Chloe’s loyal coaches from the Tullow Amateur Boxing Club and Carlow Muay Thai – spoke to the show’s presenter Joe Duffy.
They told him how Chloe had travelled to the National Stadium and had completed the weigh-in, only to be told right before her fight that she was disqualified because she also takes part in Muay Thai.
Chloe was not allowed to box on the basis of an Amateur Irish Boxing Association rule which disallows competitors to be involved in any other individual, physical, contact sport.
A petition to abolish the boxing rule which prevented the 12-year-old from fighting in the Nationals last week has garnered over 1,000 signatures already.
Speaking on the programme, the unbeaten Chloe said boxing had really brought out her confidence and after the events of last Friday she said: “I was distraught, I started crying, I couldn’t hold it in, I was so angry with the way it was dealt with.
“I could’ve been told Thursday and I would’ve been able to get over it.
“But being told a couple of minutes before the fight when I was really confident, it really broke me. I just had to get out of the stadium as quickly as possible, I could not hold it in any longer.”
Her father Eric added: “It’s brutal. If you were there Joe the other night and saw that girl, she’s been training hard for this. We made no secret of Chloe’s Muay Thai record.”
Joe Hennigan, Vice-President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, also spoke on the programme and said it wasn’t a “disqualification as such”.
He said: “There was an official complaint sent in and when a complaint is sent in we have to act on that complaint, it was then we found out that Chloe was involved with this other sport.
“There was a letter sent out to all the clubs regarding getting involved with kickboxing and all these other sports. That was only a couple of weeks ago. I feel sorry for her but I think we made the right decision.
“The problem is that we’re an amateur boxing association and the rule is that you cannot come into a club as a novice boxer if you have already been four or five years kickboxing because the experience is there.”
The official complaint against Chloe came from another club in the country, Mr Hennigan said.