CORK’S talented young prospects celebrated a St Patrick’s holiday to remember at the Boy 1, 2 and 3 County Championships at the Boxing Centre in Churchfield last weekend.
The semi-finals were decided Saturday and the finals on Sunday afternoon. The appreciative audience enjoyed many outstanding bouts featuring plenty of fiery battles for domestic supremacy. All grades were evenly contested with no stoppages recorded throughout.
The five-judge panel worked well and the entire operation was directed by senior official John Casey. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) dictated – like an encyclical from the Vatican for the faithful, and the not so faithful in some cases – last year that five judges would be used to scores bouts; most nations had been suggesting this for years!
Prior to the AIBA directive, five judges did score bouts but only three scores were kept. However, following the controversy regarding judging at the Rio Olympics, controversy which saw the entire 36 strong fleet of referees and judges at the 31st Olympiad stood down pending an investigation, all five scores are now used.
Meantime, the Charleville BC claimed a record 10 titles at the County Championships, making them the leading club in Churchfield. Following Sunday’s program, top Referee and Judge (R&J), John Casey, was presented with a piece of mounted glass from the Cork County Board. The presentation was made by Cork referee of the Year, Robert O’Driscoll.
The accolade marked Casey’s recent elevation to the top table of international officiating after he passed his AIBA exams. Casey can now officiate in international tournaments, the World Series of Boxing and AIBA Pro Boxing.
Casey was warmly congratulated by the President of the Board Michael O’Brien. He said: “John Casey is an outstanding ambassador for our sport in Cork, Munster and Ireland. He is highly regarded throughout the island of Ireland and is internationally acclaimed. Cork boxing is proud of John Casey.”
All classified results from the Boy 1,2 and 3 County Championships have been posted on the Cork Board social media sites, O’Brien advised.
The Cork chief also congratulated Eamer Coughlan (Riverstown BC) and Tommy Hyde (Setanta BC) after they reached the last-four and last eight at the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial in Anapa, Russia last weekend. The Irish squad returned home with one gold, one silver and one bronze, courtesy of Coughlan, from the tournament known as the “Mini World Championships.” Meanwhile, on Friday night at the Youghal GAA Complex, the famed St Colman’s BC will host their annual boxing showpiece (7.30pm). The special guest this year is former Cork Administrator and International referee Dan O’Connell.
Elsewhere, on Saturday evening next at the Edel Quinn Hall in Kanturk, the Kanturk BC promote their annual tournament. Last year the club had Olympic champion Katie Taylor, who is now promoted by Eddie Hearn, topping their bill.
This year the club have organised another fantastic tournament which will feature County, Munster and All-Ireland champions.
The action commences at 7.30pm sharp. Meantime, as the great Sunnyside BC continue their 90th-anniversary celebrations, Cork boxing can reflect on a marvellous evening for the club thirty years ago this month in 1987.
On an incredible occasion for the Leeeiders at Dublin’s National Stadium, a capacity crowd saw the Joyce brothers score another family double in the finals, with Kieran powering his way past Kevin Lynch and Gordon finishing strongly to retain his title against Belfast’s Brendan Lowe.
Moreover, the Sunnyside club claimed a third belt, as Paul Buttimer, known on Shandon Street as “Grease Lightning”, beat Joe Lawler in a superb flyweight final.
The Sunnyside secured three of the twelve titles on offer that famous evening. Elite male boxing is now contested across ten weights as the feather and light-middle, the weight Kieran Joyce won an Elite belt in on the night concerned, classes have been abolished.
Olympic champion Michael Carruth, Billy Walsh, now head coach with the USA, Pat O’Halloran, Roy Nash, Paul Fitzgerald, Ray Close, Jim O’Sullivan, Joe Egan, once a sparring partner to Mike Tyson, and Willie Clyde also had their hands raised in victory on the evening the Sunnyside BC nailed a hat-trick.
The man working the corner for the Cork trio at the National Stadium on March 20, 1987, was the late and great Sunnyside BC coach Albie Murphy who will have a plaque erected in his honour on the Boxing Wall at Bishop Lucey Park in May.