Olympic medal-winning boxer Darren Sutherland has been found dead at his home in London.

The 27-year-old, who won bronze for Ireland at the 2008 games, was found dead in his flat in Bromley, south London, by Frank Maloney.

In a statement the boxing promoter said: ‘It is very sad and unexpected.

‘At this sad time my thoughts are with Darren's family and I hope their privacy at this very difficult time will be respected by the media.

‘It is a tragedy for Ireland and the world of boxing.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Mr Sutherland was pronounced dead just after 3pm. His death is not being treated as suspicious. His family has been informed.

The fighter made his professional debut in Dublin last December, winning by a knockout.

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen, said that he was very saddened to hear of Mr Sutherland's death.

He said: ‘The tremendous effort and determination of this young man brought immense pride to Ireland in Beijing in 2008 when he joined a very select group of men who have won an Olympic medal for Ireland.

'It takes work, effort, desire and dedication to be a champion – qualities Darren had in abundance.

‘He later met the challenge of turning professional with great enthusiasm.

‘Ireland has lost a sportsman of wonderful ability, a clever and popular man with a future of real potential.

‘His early death deprives us of a magnificent talent’, Minister Cullen said.