THE New Year's dawning brings renewed hope for a return to boxing.
Inside the ring, the National U22 Championships will commence this Friday in Dublin, followed by the commencement of the U18 Championships.
These events will take place at the National Stadium.
However, Covid restrictions will prevent the general public from attending.
This month each year bring new life and aspirations to Leeside's boxers.
This is also the time when the focus shifts to preparing for the Cork County Championships.
These take place in February and are completed with the Ladies Championships in early March.
Over the last eight years of competitive boxing, Cork has produced a rich vein of talent, with record numbers of national titles being won each year.
Cork's boxers have also excelled at the World and European Championships, as illustrated on this page with a picture of our European medallists Michael Faulkner (Gold), Katie O Keeffe (Silver) and Leanne Murphy (Bronze).
However, on the positive side of the Covid dilemma, each club can look forward to receiving sports equipment to the value of 1,000 euro.
In addition to this, clubs will also receive a second instalment of the Covid resilience grant, which will be welcomed by all units at a very crucial time as the continue to keep the home fires burning.
Meanwhile, the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) will announce their full list of events to celebrate their gold Jubilee shortly.
The CEBA President Paddy McSweeney said that many events will take place throughout the entire year with the 50th-anniversary banquet going ahead at the Rochestown Park Hotel on April 30.
It is expected that An Taoiseach Michael Martin will present the Paddy "The Champ" Cup on this occasion.
Tickets for the dinner will go on sale in the first week of March.
Elsewhere, all in Cork boxing have been delighted to see Caitríona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners receive widespread congratulations and praise on opening another extension of her facilities on James's Street.
Catriona's father Tom was involved in boxing for many years and she has always been a great follower of the sport.
Her outstanding work on behalf of those affected by mental health issues, homelessness, hunger and addiction is well documented.
It was a great tribute to her to see Roy Keane perform the official opening.
In 2015, Catriona was acknowledged for her work by the CEBA, while in 2019 she received the Spirit of Jack McAuliffe award.
Many in Cork boxing now believe that the time has come for the Lord Mayor and Cork City Council to bestow the freedom of the city on Catriona.
This is the highest accolade the city can confer and it would be very difficult to see any man or woman on the council opposing this nomination give her humble and distinguished service over many years on behalf of the poor, the deprived and needy in our proud city.
In the meantime, in conjunction with the golden Jubilee to mark the 50 years of CEBA, a lot of information will be forthcoming from Cork's boxing past.
In the 1940s and 1950s, a famous unit existed on the southside of the city known as Nemo boxing club.
Many boxers from that club also played hurling and football with Nemo Rangers.
Padraig Ui Chaoimh, or Paddy O'Keeffe as he was also known, was a member of that boxing club.
He was also a very prominent member of Nemo Rangers GAA club.
He later became general secretary of the GAA based in Croke Park in Dublin.
Cork's spectacular GAA Stadium is also called after that man.
This year Nemo Rangers will celebrate their centenary and all in Cork boxing congratulate them on this milestone.
It was also encouraging to see that, like the boxing community in Cork, Nemo are now embarking on providing a wall of honour to acknowledge the club's achievements.
This has proved to be an outstanding success for the sport of boxing, and this initiative from Nemo will now fully enhance their standing as the greatest Gaelic football club this country has produced.
Meanwhile, the former Lord Mayor of Cork and City Councillor Joe Kavanagh is putting the final touches on completing his plan to provide Cork with its own all-sports museum.
This facility will be a magnificent spectacle and greatly appreciated by followers from all codes.
With its rich and proud heritage, boxing will feature prominently in this museum, particularly following the outstanding success of the Cork Boxing Memorabilia exhibition which went on display at the Cork City library during the months of August and September 2019.
The Cork County Board extends best wishes to all its boxers at the National U22 and U18 National Championships.