BOXING will return in Cork in a limited form over the next number of weeks.
However, before each club opens its premises, clubs — contingent on size — are requested to have a number of Covid-19 officers in situ to comply with restrictions as laid out by the Government health agencies.
On Tuesday last, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) board of directors met and agreed on the terms and guidelines for all clubs to prepare for the safe return of the sport.
The IABA will facilitate courses where club coaches and volunteers will be trained and will complete specified courses that will adhere to compliance measures for safe practice. This will provide an opportunity for all athletes to return in a safe environment.
The Cork County Boxing Board (CCBB) has advised all clubs under their jurisdiction that the changes suggested and the restrictions imposed are in compliance with HSE advice and guidelines.
All sports are subject to these changes, and all sports must comply with medical guidelines. Each sport has a specific plan tailored to guide athletes in that particular sport.
The president of the IABA, Dom O’Rourke, has been in regular contact with the CCBB and has been advising the board of the impending changes.
Likewise, many clubs in Cork are now looking forward to returning to training and competition. However, with the numbers allowed into each club limited in order to facilitate social distancing, difficulties and anomalies will exist.
In this instance, the IABA is prepared to err on the side of caution. The coming months will be a time of change for all.
However, after the period of acclimatisation, it is hoped that the Munster Championships can be decided, followed by the All-Ireland series.
The CCBB has extended best wishes to all clubs and are available to provide assistance to any club who are seeking further guidance or information.
The board also hope that all clubs will embrace the changes, which are for the greater good of amateur boxing and society in general as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Meanwhile, if the National Championships resume again this year, the Cork Ex Boxers Association will once again have the opportunity to present the Jack McAuliffe gold medals.
These medals are presented to All-Ireland champions in a ceremony in Bishop Lucey Park each year.
In the meantime, the presentation of the Paddy Martin Champ of Champions Cup is the brainchild of the Cork Ex Boxers.
This year, as indicated in last week’s boxing page, will see the cup presented to Christina Desmond of the Fr Horgan’s BC/Garda BC. This selection is the exclusive call of the president of the Cork Ex Boxers Association, Tim O’Sullivan.
The Ex Boxers are entirely independent of the CCBB. O’Sullivan has his finger on the pulse of the sport on Leeside, and regularly attends county championships, leagues and tournaments and the National Stadium.
The Paddy Martin Cup will be presented to Desmond by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, son of Paddy Martin.
“Christina Desmond is a worthy winner of the prestigious cup this year,” said O’Sullivan on his decision to select the European Elite medallist.
“She is a double Elite champion in the same year and a world-class boxer.
“She is a potential Olympian and she an exemplary athlete who gives 100% at all times when she is representing her club and country in competition.
“With great justification, I am delighted to nominate her as the 2020 Cork Champ of Champions.”
Meanwhile, the name Albie Murphy featured in relation to his bout with Olympic silver medalist Fred Tiedt at City Hall in 1957 in last week’s boxing page.
During that period, the Sunnyside Boxing Club was defunct, and Albie boxed with the Corinthians BC, which was a prominent club in Cork at the time.
Dublin-born Tiedt, who claimed welterweight silver at the 1956 Games in Melbourne and bronze at the 1957 European Championships, earned a points decision over Murphy after five cracking rounds of boxing at City Hall.
A man who was very much involved in bringing Tiedt to Leeside for that famous bout was Victor Aston, who gave tremendous service to Cork boxing over many years.
He served with the Cork Board and Munster Council, where he served as secretary for 18 years before being replaced by Dan O’Connell.
The Sunnyside club was revived in the early 1960s.
The two men responsible for the revival were Joe Ford and Tom Daly, who was known as the ‘silver fox’.
Both men gave over 30 years of service to the cause and helped reinvigorate the famed Sunnyside unit and usher in the greatest era in the club’s history in the 1980s.