LAST weekend the real strength of Cork boxing came to the fore.
The Boys and Girls 1 and 2 Championships took place at the Glen BC.
This two-day event was an outstanding success. The organisation surrounding the Covid 19 pandemic was of paramount importance to all.
The Cork Board once again proved why they are the trailblazers in Munster boxing. No one rejoices in the news that no other County Boards in the province held these Championship and this creates serious questions for Munster boxing.
The Cork Board believes that a duty of care must remain at all times with their young boxers and their competitive aspirations must be prioritised and protected.
Last weekend saw a magnificent festival of underage boxing. The Board and sub-committees were set up to meet the challenge.
The ladies under the direction of Nicola Murphy played a very significant part in the smooth running of a complex operation due to the Covid restrictions.
As director of Cork Championships boxing, John Casey was in control, while the working team of Secretary John Wiseman and President Billy O'Sullivan was in evidence throughout the weekend.
This was a pivotal occasion in the history of Cork boxing, and it ensured that despite the pandemic, the sport was not prevented from hosting the county championships.
The vice president of the Munster Council Teddy Barry was at the Championship sn his capacity as a Riverstown BC coach.
Barry congratulated the County Board on the success of the event.
Teddy is a former President of the Cork Board and if he was still in that position, there is no doubt in anybody's mind that these Championships would also have taken place as the participation of the young boxers in all competitions would be paramount in his positive thinking at all times.
Board President Billy O'Sullivan thanked all for their help and cooperation including the doctors, medics, chief steward John Crowley and photographer Doug Minihane.
Elsewhere, since its foundation in 1959, the Fr Horgan's BC has played an inherent role in the development of Cork boxing.
This past week has seen the club once again affiliate and the doubt and confusion which surrounded the club's future has finally abated.
This splendid news has been welcomed by all in Cork boxing.
The President of the Board Billy O'Sullivan said the club had been part of Cork boxing for over sixty years and its strong foundations had stood the test of time.
Board PRO Mick O'Brien said: "Alongside the Glen BC and Sunnyside BC, Fr Horgan's has been one of the great bastions of Cork boxing.
"I am delighted to see this club affiliate as they are steeped in Cork boxing history which will fully unfold in the next twelve months to coincide with the golden jubilee celebration of the Cork Ex Boxers Association."
History will show that when Cork boxing was on its knees in 1971, the Fr Horgan's club prevailed and proudly flew the flag for all followers of the sport.
This encouraged others to follow, and bit by bit Cork emerged like the phoenix from the ashes and banished those dark days which seriously threatened the future of Leeside boxing.
This club is named after a parish priest.
This man was also instrumental in helping set up the Ballinlough and Bantry clubs.
Over the years, the Fr Horgan's club has produced outstanding boxers, coaches and administrators.
Among its founders was the British ABA champion Connie Morrissey.
Manty members of the Power family were also instrumental in the continuation of the club.
Recently, a very unassuming Paul Power, reflecting on his contribution to the unit, said he did his best along the way.
Other great club members were Bunny O'Hare, Paul Harris and Dan O'Connell.
Today the club is once again under the stewardship of an experienced committee led by coach Ken Crinnion.
Last weekend the club participated in the County Championships, and in its must most recent success, Crinnion's daughter Lauren was the first member of the club to receive a medal.
This was indeed a special day for a very proud club who once again have taken their place at the top table in a sport which is flourishing on Leeside.
Next weekend, the Munster Boys and Girls 1 and 2 Championships are dude to take place in Cork.
Speculation is rife about a number of venues, but none has been confirmed.
Following a Munster Council meeting later this week all clubs will be notified of the venue.
The Cork County Board extends its congratulations to all its boxers and extends best wishes for the forthcoming Munster Championships.