AS part of next year’s Olympic Centenary Celebrations in Cork, a plan is currently being drafted to promote additional boxing activities to compliment the Cork region during this special year.
The plan would then go before the County Board for ratification next autumn.
Currently there is a whole raft of proposals on the agenda.
In conjunction with Cork City Council, the possibility of organising a major two day weekend of top class boxing may take place in the Cork City Hall.
This would create an opportunity for many to take part in a form of Leeside Box Cup.
Following the Glen Boxing Club’s recent very successful Boxing Tournament in the City Hall, many Cork boxing supporters would relish the prospect and look forward to another major Amateur Boxing Event at this iconic venue.
The live stream of that tournament created a great opportunity for many people to view the event not only abroad where it was viewed by thousands, but by many locals, who for one reason or another could not get to City Hall on the night.
A recent survey of Cork’s affiliated Boxing Clubs illustrates that over the last ten years, the number of Clubs participating in the sport has enjoyed the greatest success of any decade going back to the establishment of the County Board in 1914.
It also shows that period provided Leeside’s boxing athletes with the greatest number of Clubs from which to join or choose from.
In the 1920’s Cork had on average of eleven Boxing Clubs.
Most of the Clubs back then were in the City, and on the Northside.
From that era, two Clubs survived to this day. The Glen B.C. established in 1916 and Sunnyside B.C. founded in 1927.
Cork’s third oldest Club, Fr. Horgans was formed in Parochial Hall in Gurranabraher in 1959.
In the 1930’s and forties the average number of Clubs operating in the County of Cork was 17.
Now however the sport was expanding and Clubs in the County emerged, those included very strong Clubs in Fermoy, Mallow, Bandon, Cobh, Macroom and around Ballinhasig, affectionately known as Georgie Bennett Country.
In the 1950’s the City Hall promoted many tournaments and semi- international events with as many as twenty Clubs affiliated to the County Board.
The sport was flourishing; Cork produced outstanding boxers winning many Senior Munster Championships.
However when they entered the ring in Dublin and performed magnificently, many of the Ringside Judges, it was felt in Cork, suffered partial vision, the nature of the illness being, it obscured the Judges from full focus on the Cork Boxers which resulted in many decisions going against the Leesiders.
However none of these Judges ever went on to suffer full-blown blindness. In the sixties the average total of Clubs in Cork rounded at 15 while in the 1970’s the sport went into decline.
This seen the rejuvenation of the sport through the outstanding work of Victor Aston and Dan O’Connell.
In the late seventies Rylane were formed, then in the mid-eighties Brian Dillons B.C., St. Colman's B.C. and Riverstown B.C. were established on very solid foundations.
The 1980’s was a great period of National and International success for the Sunnyside Club.
The nineties’ seen Michael Carruth win Ireland’s first Boxing Olympic Gold Medal. This elevated the profile of the sport nationwide.
In the new century, Cork Boxing continued to escalate.
The introducing of Female Boxing enhanced the sport and gave in injection of newer talents, which helped to set up many more Clubs in Cork, where today it enjoys a very strong profile on Leeside’s sporting landscape.
The Cork County Boxing Board will be contacting every affiliated Club within its jurisdiction in the next four weeks.
Each Club will be invited to outline any obstacles or difficulties they are experiencing within the Administration of the Board in Cork or with the Munster Council or in respect of participating in the National Championships in Dublin.
However, while this policy opportunity will afford Clubs an opportunity to highlight what they see to be anomalies which can be addressed in a constructive way, it is not a charter for moaners or begrudges who in so many cases are experts in the art of criticism but are somewhat slow when it comes to either providing solutions or respecting Administrators as Volunteers.
Boxing like all participating sports must be carefully viewed in an over all context.
The action is in the ring, the boxers who step into the ring are all there through their love of the sport.
They are trained in the Noble Art by many experienced Coaches who have served the cause and promotion of Amateur Boxing over many years.
On the other hand, it is of paramount importance here, to make the clinical difference between Amateur and Professional Boxing.
One is a sport and the other is a business.
In amateur Boxing in Cork at all times the Authorities are there to constantly monitor and protect the athletes.
The primary purpose of the Amateur Boxer is to outwit and outscore his or her opponent, and to learn the Art to, weave Shuffle and parry opponents punches and most important of all to make sporting friendships.