LAST Tuesday night the first Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) meeting of the year took place at the Glen Boxing Club.
The Chairman John J. Murphy presided.
For CEBA this was a very important meeting as it focussed on the organisation of events for the coming year which will see the Association celebrate its golden Jubilee.
On the night, the Chairman was very decisive and planned the meeting carefully to assure that attention to detail was given to all related matters.
"This," he told members, "is a year in which we must ensure high standards which will continue to enhance the reputation of CEBA and create an opportunity to strengthen our organisation as we celebrate the last 50 years."
The Cork Ex-Boxers group is the third oldest ex-boxers Association operating in the world today.
It is the longest in existence in Ireland, with the last affiliated group of former boxers coming from Wexford, who formed their Association in 2018.
Prior to their formation, the Wexford men looked south and sought advice and guidance from Leeside.
From here, they received tremendous support which helped them charter the course of their formation.
In his capacity as Chairman, JJ Murphy is tasked with overseeing the entire plan this year.
Equally, however, he is fortunate to have a number of very experienced administrators working alongside him.
JJ Murphy is a part of Cork's Northside and hails from a highly resected sporting family.
Many of his brothers are well known and have excelled in many other codes.
However, JJ is primarily a boxing man and strolls the street as a proud ambassador of that sport.
Over the last 15 years Murphy has been very active in the promotion of boxing related issues.
He played a leading role at a crucial time to ensure that the Leeside Legends the Cork Boxing story was published.
This was compiled by Willie O'Leary who was acclaimed for his work.
However, behind the scenes JJ Murphy did an enormous amount of networking to ensure that after ten years in the making it was finally launched.
JJ can be proud of his contribution that this book finally hit the bookshelves.
The CEBA also did a lot of work to help promote boxing within clubs and to encourage young committees through visitations and presentations of unique plaques.
Over the years, Murphy has been a close friend to Gary Spike O'Sullivan.
In the early years, which were a very lean time for Spike when it was difficult to establish himself as a pro, Murphy was instrumental in persuading Cork businessmen such as Benny McCabe and others to financially back Spike.
McCabe was not found wanting.
Neither was Conal Thomas or Joe Buttimer, and when Spike returned to Cork with the famed WBO International title, his success was delightfully acknowledged by the businessmen who back him.
Spike defeated Matthew Hall in 2021 to win that title before 40,00 spectators at Upton Park and millions more live on Sky TV.
JJ Murphy is also wildly admired for his collection of old boxing memorabilia and posters.
Recently, when Conal Thomas was organising the three-day event to celebrate the 25h anniversary of Steve Collins' World title victory in Cork, JJ was designing the poster promoting this event.
It was also JJ who secured a very prestigious advertisement from Ger Moynihan and Moynihan's Poultry in the English market.
The advertisment was featured in a programme to mark the 150th birthday of Jack McAuliffe, Cork's only boxing world champion.
The program was presented to each guest during a special lunch which took place at the Imperial Hotel.
Moynihan's advert of special note illustrated an old penny depicting proud poultry in old Gaelic language.
This advert was signalled out and acknowledged for special mention a few years later in the Cork City Library at an exhibition of Cork boxing memorabilia and effects.
JJ Murphy was also a very strong advocate for preserving the Loughmahon Boxng Club when the club was being evicted without notice from their base on the Convent grounds on Besboro.
JJ took on the might of legal opposition which were issued in behalf on the convent authorities.
However, JJ intervened and he engaged diplomatically with the Bishop, which brought about a short term solution which assisted the Loughmahon BC.
JJ Murphy is known throughout the length and breadth of Irish boxing circles.
He is well known to visitors to the National Stadium in Dublin and has major boxing links in Belfast.
He has always received VP Status at the Celtic Box Cup in Dungarvan and he is a great advocate of the promotion of ladies boxing.
It is volunteers such as JJ Murphy who has constantly kept the sport alive and he is also encouraging others to take pride in the culture and tradition of Cork boxing.