Kieran Joyce and Tony Flanagan are two great boxing men and a credit to their sport for their commitment and dedication

AS the Cork Ex-Boxers Association reflects on the many great occasions enjoyed by the sport over the last 50 years, this also provides an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of many great individuals.
Kieran Joyce and Tony Flanagan are two great boxing men and a credit to their sport for their commitment and dedication

Two-time Olympian, and Cork Boxer of the Century, Kieran Joyce, pictured with Tony Flanagan at the Clubs premises in the Parochial Hall, Churchfield. Picture: Doug Minihane

AS the Cork Ex-Boxers Association reflects on the many great occasions enjoyed by the sport over the last 50 years, this also provides an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of many great individuals.

The main picture in today's column is part of the deep rooted history of Cork boxing.

It features two men who played different roles in the same sport.

Cork boxer of the Century Kieran Joyce is flanked by Tony Flanagan, the only surviving member of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association founded in 1972.

Today, Tony is still very active with the Association and is part of the Golden Jubilee Committee. 

Prior to the emergence of Covid, Tony was the coach with the Sunnyside BC and during his own boxing career, was a county and Munster champion.

Over the years he was also an all-army boxing titlist as well as being coach to many of the Defence Forces boxing teams.

During those years, Kieran Joyce became an iconic figure and a true legend of the sport of Leeside.

Joyce was a double Olympian at Los Angles 1984 and Seoul 1988. 

The Leesider has boxed all over the world and has lost on only a handful of occasions.

Two split decision reversals at the Olympics cost him the chance to move closer to winning a medal, while in 1983 he returned with a bronze medal from the European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria.

In 2014, to mark the Centenary of the Cork County Boxing Board, Joyce was selected as Cork's Boxers of that century.

Paddy Gough of Fr Horgans BC receiving his commemorative plaque from J.J. Murphy of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association. Picture: Doug Minihane
Paddy Gough of Fr Horgans BC receiving his commemorative plaque from J.J. Murphy of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association. Picture: Doug Minihane

Joyce is very happy with the current state of Cork boxing and is adamant that a High Performance Centre of Excellence must be located in the south of the country.

He maintains that the most important ingredient in the success of any boxer is an opportunity to avail of proper training facilities and good sparring partners.

Reflecting on his own career he said: "I committed myself to boxing and I was both dedicated and determined and I listened very carefully to my outstanding coach Albie Murphy.

"He arranged for me to travel all over the world, and here I was fortunate to spar with the Cubans, Russians and the best America could offer."

As Kieran Joyce expressed his gratitude to his late coach Albie Murphy, Cork boxing paid its own tribute Albie on May 27, 2017.

On that day, a plaque in recognition of his contribution to boxing was erected in Bishop Lucey Park by the late Maurice Walsh.

However, the man who inspired that occasion was the famed Gen BC coach Tom Kelleher. 

Tom is also pictured in today's column making a presentation of a replica plaque to Rita Murphy, Albie's wife.

This took place at a special lunch following the unveiling of the main plaque. 

At the event, long time Secretary of the Cork Board, John Wiseman, recalled one of his many memories of Albie, saying:

"One of my recollections of Albie was when he escorted six young men to Dublin to do a coaching course.

"He travelled with us on the train and spoke all the way up, outlining his many views in the sport of boxing and Albie always ensured that Cork's boxers when they went to Dublin were always well looked after and only received the best."

Meanwhile, Paddy Gough is another name from Cork's boxing past. 

Tommy Kelleher, Glen Boxing Club, makes a presentation to Rita Murphy, wife of the late Albie Murphy
Tommy Kelleher, Glen Boxing Club, makes a presentation to Rita Murphy, wife of the late Albie Murphy

Today he is featured in this page following a presentation made to him by JJ Murphy, Chairman of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association.

The presentation was made to mark Cork success in winning the Inter-City cup following victory over Dublin on Leeside in 1961.

Paddy boxed with the Fr Horgan's BC where he won County and Munster titles. 

Today he continues to show great interest in Cork boxing as is looking forward to participating in the Cork Ex-Boxers Association celebrations during the rest of the year.

In the meantime, on Saturday and Sunday next, the 2022 Cork County Boxing Championships will conclude. 

This year tournament, which has taken place in recent weeks, has been another outstanding success.

The President of the Cork County Board, Billy O'Sullivan, has extended his gratitude to all who had helped organise this year's event.

And on behalf of the Corm Board, Billy O'Sullivan said he was extending best wishes to all Cork's male and female boxers as they progress to the Munster and later to the national Championships.

Meanwhile, the Cork 2021 Cork boxing personality of the year, Birmingham based Frank O'Sullivan, has expressed his gratitude to the Lord Mayor of Cork and all in Cork boxing for what he described as a very cherished accolade.

Frank O'Sullivan will be in Cork on March 11 and will make a presentation to the Cork Ex-Boxers to mark their very special year.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more