Bernard Dunne, India's boxing high performance director, has resigned from his role following the the boxing contingent’s poor performance in the first World Olympic Qualifiers in Italy, the Boxing Federation of India confirmed on Monday.

This development comes after the Indian boxers failed to secure a single 2024 Paris Olympics quota in the qualifiers earlier in the month. Six men and two women boxers were eliminated in the first round of the tournament in Busto Arsizio last week. Only Nishant Dev (71kg) won three bouts before losing in the quarterfinals.

“Bernard Dunne was an integral part of BFI’s set-up but unfortunately we have to mutually part ways,” said Ajay Singh, President of the national federation.

Also read: Wake-up call: Recent setbacks in Indian boxing indicate a worrying trend ahead of the Paris Olympics

Dunne succeeded Santiago Nieva as High Performance director, joined the Indian team in October 2022. Dunne had 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 Olympic gold medals. The Irishman, however, has had a tumultuous tenure in India.

Dunne abolished the selection trials and implemented a new selection policy based on an evaluation process in the national camp in which boxers are evaluated on a variety of criteria. Some boxers even challenged the selection policy in the court.

Although female boxers have had recent success in big tournaments such as the IBA World Boxing Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games, the male boxers have not fared as well. After two qualification events – the Asian Games and the first World Olympic Boxing Qualifier – not one Indian male boxer has been able to book a place for the Olympics.

So far, all four boxing quotas have been filled in the women's division, with two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg), and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg).

With less than four months to go for the Paris Olympics, the lack of results in the Qualifiers was expected to stir things up.

In June, Indian women's boxing team coach, Bhaskar Bhatt had stepped down from the position. CA Kutappa is the current coach for the men’s team. Meanwhile, Dmitry Dmitruk was appointed as the foreign coach for both the teams.

Even as Dunne exits from the setups the likes of head coach CA Kuttappa, L Devendro Singh, Torak Kharpran, Khimanand Belwal, DS Yadav, Pranamika Borah, Abhishek Sah and Poonam Sharma will continue to be part of the coaching structure.

Besides, the Boxing Federation of India has also added Jai Singh Patil and Durga Prasad Gandhamalla to the coaching roster.

The Indian boxers will be given another chance to secure quotas at the second Olympic World Qualifiers that start from May 23 but the turbulence in the Indian boxing circuit does not paint a positive picture.