Brian Dillons boxer Patrick Lawlor is named the Cork Boxer of the Year

Brian Dillons boxer Patrick Lawlor is named the Cork Boxer of the Year

Cork County Boxing Board president Michael O'Brien presents the Mick Leahy Cup to Cork boxer of the year Patrick Lawlor, Brian Dillons BC.

ON Saturday morning last at the Glen BC, Patrick Lawlor (Brian Dillons BC) was crowned Cork Boxer of the Year.

This was in recognition of his victory over Eoghan Lavin at the National U18 Championships.

Lawlor was presented with the Mick Leahy Cup by the President of the Cork Boxing Board, Michael O'Brien.

Before the presentation, O'Brien warmly congratulated the young athlete who last year did his club and his country proud after returning to Leeside with a coveted All-Ireland Youth title.

O'Brien said that following a challenging year for sport, this was an occasion of joy to the acknowledged and rejoiced in.

"Ii was also a proud occasion for his club Brian Dillons, who this year celebrate their 40th anniversary having been founded in 1981," he remarked.

The Mick Leahy Cup was donated to the Cork Board in 2009 by then Lord Mayor of Cork Brian Birmingham.

The tradition of the cup is to present it annually to Cork's top boxer. Previous winners include world Youth and Junior silver medallists Christina Desmond and Eamer Coughlan.

Desmond went on to win four Irish Elite titles and a European Elite bronze medal.

Thomas McCarthy, who won six underage All-Ireland titles and is Cork's most recent male Elite champion, was also among a distinguished list to claim the prestigious cup.

The presentation was made at the Glen BC, which was Leahy's home club.

Mick Leahy was Cork most famous pro boxer of the 20th century. 

He turned professional in 1958 and during his career fought some of the greats on the World and Europe stage.

In 1963, he won the British middleweight title and was the only Cork boxers to secure a Lonsdale belt.

Following the presentation, Patrick Lawlor said: "I am honoured and delighted to be acknowledged as Cork's top boxer, and I'm looking forward to resuming boxing when the Covid -19 restrictions are lifted.

"I will now be focussing on the Elites and will be hoping to bring an Elite title to my club."

The young athlete is also an accomplished hurler and has won three County Minor Championships with Glen Rovers.

He added that his greatest sporting disappointment was losing the All-Ireland U14 hurling final. 

This was five years ago and was played on the day when Lawlor had left the National Stadium having performed in the Cadet Championships.

Following his success last year, he was invited to City Hall by the then Lord Mayor, Dr John Sheehan.

He was was accompanied on the night by Leanne Murphy of the Togher BC, who had also won an All -Ireland U18 title.

At City Hall, both boxers were presented with their Jack McAuliffe gold medals by the late Tim O'Sullivan, then President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association.

These were the last medals presented by Irelands oldest international and the only Corkman to win the IABA Hall of Fame Award.

This was also a great night at City Hall for the boxers clubs as the year previous, Leanne Murphy had captained Ireland at the European Junior Championships and won a bronze medal.

Following that success, Leanne has been presented with the Paddy "The Champ" Martin Cup.

At last weekend's presentation, Patrick Lawlor was accompanied by his two coaches, Patrick Lawlor Snr and Denis Desmond, who is also President of the club.

He said: "I am delighted to see Patrick honoured in this way. 

"He has always been very dedicated to the sport, and I congratulate him on bringing this wonderful trophy to our club in this very special year."

Desmond added that the club hope to mark their 40th anniversary when the lifting of restrictions allows then to do so.

Lawlor was also congratulated by County Board Secretary John Wiseman, who is also a member of the Brian Dillon's club.

Mr Cork Boxing Tom Kelleher was also on hand to extend his congratulations, telling the young athlete that the cup now in his possession was named after one of the greatest boxers ever to leave Blackpool.

The Board President thanked Tom Kelleher and the Glen BC for facilitating the presentation.

"The Brian Dillons club has made a great contribution to the growth of Cork boxing, and this was further enhanced by Board treasurer Nicola Murphy who is doing an outstanding job on behalf of club and county.

The history of Brian Dillons BC in Cork boxing will be featured in the Echo later this year."

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