City Hall give their blessing and venue to the Cork County Board to bring an international boxing tournament to Cork

City Hall give their blessing and venue to the Cork County Board to bring an international boxing tournament to Cork

An Taoiseach Michéal Martin at The Glen Boxing club where he presented his fathers cup The Paddy 'The Champ' Martin cup to Christine Desmond winners of the champions cup with Mick O'Brien, president Cork county boxing board; Nicola Murphy, treasurer county board; John Wiseman, secretary county board; Paddy McSweeney, president Cork Ex-boxers and Martin Coughlan, secretary Ex boxers

A mountain of magic boxing memories has mushroomed on Leeside during the course of the last 15 months.

The Covid-19 lockdown has concentrated the minds of many on Cork's boxers from yesteryear.

Many of the columns featured from the Echo on Thursday has fired up and rekindled an enthusiasm of pride and passion in boxers from many generations.

The feedback from these articles has been phenomenal and has encouraged many to come forward with photos and paper cuttings that heretofore had been locked away in boxes out in sheds or in attics.

However, many now believe that some of their boxing histories can be shared with the Cork boxing public. 

A prime example was comprehensively illustrated at City Hall last week by Paul Moynihan, Director of Corporate and International affairs.

During a meeting with the Board President Michael O'Brien and Lord Mayor Cllr. Joe Kavanagh, Mr Moynihan said the pick up in Cork boxing was growing every day, and he encouraged the Cork Board to organise a full international at City Hall.

"The City Council would not be found wanting in their backing for such a prestigious event," he said.

An Taoiseach Michéal Martin at The Glen Boxing club where he presented his fathers cup The Paddy 'The Champ' Martin cup to Christine Desmond winners of the champions cup with Mick O'Brien, president Cork county boxing board; Nicola Murphy, treasurer county board; John Wiseman, secretary county board; Paddy McSweeney, president Cork Ex-boxers and Martin Coughlan, secretary Ex boxers
An Taoiseach Michéal Martin at The Glen Boxing club where he presented his fathers cup The Paddy 'The Champ' Martin cup to Christine Desmond winners of the champions cup with Mick O'Brien, president Cork county boxing board; Nicola Murphy, treasurer county board; John Wiseman, secretary county board; Paddy McSweeney, president Cork Ex-boxers and Martin Coughlan, secretary Ex boxers

This also has the backing of IABA President Dom O'Rourke. 

Following the Olympics Games perhaps this aspiration may come to fruition with proper planning and all-round goodwill.

Should this international take place, it could become an integral part of the Cork Ex Boxers (CEBA) Jubilee celebrations.

The CEBA was founded by two former international boxers Tim O'Sullivan and Paddy Martin. 

Both wore the green vest of Ireland with pride.

The CEBA has stood the test of time and is now the third-oldest former boxers group in the world.

The Cork Board President Mick O'Brien thanked Paul Moynihan and the City Council for the opportunity to promote an international in the southern capital.

However, O'Brien added that it would have to be a full Irish international team featuring Olympians and Elite champions.

"On the night, the opposition would also have to be first class," he said. 

"Ideally, a visit from the English team would wet the appetite and would be a great draw for supporters."

O'Brien believes that if this promotion was organised properly and worked through the business community, the event could be a sell out and the house full sign would be seen at City Hall for the first time in many years.

Following the outstanding success of the Cork Boxing Memorabilia Exhibition at the City Library in September 2019, City Hall has expressed its encouragement to the CEBA to had have further exhibitions on a smaller scales at suburban libraries.

This will include Blackpool, Ballyphehane, Bishopstown and Ballincollig. 

It is believed that the Cork boxing story will continue to grow and be appreciated by many of Cork's sporting generations.

It is also hoped that the Cork vision centre in the North Main street will house a week-long exhibition next year, also promoted by CEBA to mark their major milestone.

The CEBA President Paddy McSweeney is confident that their golden jubilee will provide opportunities for many in Leeside boxing to reflect on what has been achieved over the last fifty years. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, John Wiseman, Secretarty of the Cork County Boxing Board and Martin Coughlan of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association pictured at the opening of the Cork Boxing Memoribilia exhibition in Cork City Library last summer. Picture: Doug Minihane
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, John Wiseman, Secretarty of the Cork County Boxing Board and Martin Coughlan of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association pictured at the opening of the Cork Boxing Memoribilia exhibition in Cork City Library last summer. Picture: Doug Minihane

All plans will be discussed fully at the next meeting of CEBA, which is hoped will take place in the next six weeks.

Meanwhile, the death took place recently of the former Lord Mayor of Cork Tim Falvey. 

Tim was the city's first citizen in 1995. 

During that year, he welcomed and congratulated World super-middleweight champion Steve Collins, at City Hall.

Tim had a great interest in boxing all his life and over the years was a supporter of the Sunnyside club. 

Prior to his departure to represent Ireland at Sydney 2000, Michael Roche, Ireland's only boxer at the Games, received a presentation from the Falvey family.

During his year in office as Lord Mayor Tim also welcomed extended members of his own family who are now domiciled in Australia. 

This story was covered by the Echo in March 2020.

The return of Cork boxing will definitely see some changes on the club horizon. 

However, the formula for the success enjoyed by Cork's clubs in recent years will remain the same.

In the meantime, the good news emanating from the vast majority of clubs is that they have weathered the Covid-19 storm and are looking for the future with renewed optimism.

Finally, the sympathies of all in Cork boing has been extended to the Kelleher family following the recent death of Dan Kelleher, a brother of John, Noel and Tom of the Glen boxing club.

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