Cork boxing: Spartan star Breanna Tobin collects prestigious award

Cork boxing: Spartan star Breanna Tobin collects prestigious award
Breanna Tobin of Spartan BC, alongside her coach Paddy McSweeney, receiving the Margaret Stacey Memorial Cup for Cork's top Ladies Academy Boxer from Áine McLoughlin of the Cork County Boxing Board. Picture: Doug Minihane

DUE to the Covid-10 pandemic restrictions of recent months, boxing, like all over sports, has been dormant.

However, the sport is still being maintained and acknowledged in other ways.

Recently, in Bishop Lucey Park, Breanna Tobin of the Spartan Boxing Club was presented with the Margaret Stacey Cup.

This cup was launched last year, and the first winner was two-time European medallist Katie O'Keeffe of the Kanturk BC.

The trophy was donated to the Cork County Boxing Board by Bill Stacey, a former member of the Dublin Board and a man who said he is a great admirer of the Cork boxing.

The cup is named after his late wife Margaret and is presented annually to a member of the Ladies Cork Boxing Academy.

This year the presentation was made by Aine McLaughlin who heads up the female wing of the Cork Boxing Academies.

McLaughlin has been involved in boxing on Leeside for many years and has made a significant contribution to the promotion of the sport in several Cork clubs.

Therefore, she was well placed to make the selection of this year's winner of the award. Prior to the presentation, the President of the Board, Michael O'Brien, gave an outline of Tobin's dedicated approach to her chosen sport.

O'Brien said "Like the previous winner Katie O'Keeffe, Breanna is a great role model and an example to all female boxers.

"She has won five All-Ireland titles in very tough competition, and this is just reward for her compelling work ethic in training."

"In addtion to her club, she has been an outstanding member of the Cork Boxing Academy. This is another marvellous day for the Spartan club."

The Spartan BC is located in the bustling suburb of Turner's Cross. In recent years the unit has made headlines following the success of its boxers who have brought County, Munster and Irish titles back to the outfit.

While the unit is small in stature, it has made a huge impact on the Cork boing landscape.

This is due mainly to the impressive management at the club.

Head coach and Chairman Paddy McSweeny has made an impact since his arrival. McSweeney has brought a lot of experience with him, and when reorganising the club he surrounded himself with a top team.

The setup at the outfit has also seen a lot of work done by the loyal and dedicated team of coaches, Mark Hennessey and Glen Walsh, while the female wing of the club is headed up by coaches Kellie O'Gorman, Layurn Walsh and Aine McLaughlin.

Following the recent presentation, Tobin expressed her delight. She said she was thrilled for her club, thanked her coaches and all the members of the Academy for their work and dedication.

Tobin was surrounded by family and friends at the presentation. These included her mother and grandmother who both spoke of how proud they were of Breanna and what she had accomplished to date.

The backdrop to the presentation was the Boxing Wall at Bishop Lucey Park, which made for a magnificent setting. All the stand out names of Cork boxing are on display going back to Jack McAuliffe, word champion in 1888.

This Boxing Wall will be enhanced when a major renovation takes place next year. The recent presentation was another special occasion for Tobin and her club.

It was an accolade that was richly deserved for an outstanding ambassador for female boxing and was another milestone for all at the proud Spartan Boxing Club.

Elsewhere, a meeting of the Cork County Boxxing Board will take place on Tuesday next, July 14, at 8 pm at the Boxing Centre in Churchfield. There is only one item on the agenda for the special meeting, and all standing orders are suspended.

Meanwhile, the death took place recently of former Cork and Ballinlough BC boxer Paul Desmond. Paul was a long-standing member of the now-defunct Ballinlough club.

He was a fearless performer in the ring and won five County titles. He was also a boxer of style and class and was admired as a leading competitor throughout the country.

Paul was also an outstanding club man and boxed in many of the tournaments of the 1970s and the 1980s. Tim O'Sullivan and Paddy McSweeney were club colleagues of Paul's during that era.

Both men paid warm tributes to him following his death. The sympathies of the Cork County Boxing Board and the Cork Ex Boxers Association have been extended to his wife and family.

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