CORK boxers have enjoyed outstanding success over the past 10 years so the time is ripe to develop the Sport and cater for future generations.
A major plan will soon be introduced to attract many more athletes to the sport universally described as the noble art.
The Cork County Boxing Board have stepped up its campaign to have a headquarters built in Cork.
Fourteen years ago, then-City Manager Joe Gavin allocated a site in Knocknaheeney to facilitate the project.
Officers of the board outlined their plans for a modest building with adequate parking.
The simplicity of the plan was to have a premises which would house leagues, tournaments and championships.
After consultation with architects, a sprawling Centre of Excellence would have cost in the region of €3 million.
The Cork Boxing Board then set out a 78-page business plan, which was accepted by Michael Ring Minister of Sport, and the indication was the department may provide €1 million.
The balance was earmarked from the Department of the Environment through Regeneration Amenity Funding for Knocknaheeney.
In addition, the Cork Boxing Board had committed to fitting out the project at a cost of €100,000, with support from a prominent Cork developer. They also had the full backing of the IABA.
However, following a series of meetings over a three-year period, the board began losing faith in the project, as they were getting feedback the overall costing were prohibitive.
A meeting was then set up with Cork City Council, and following this the council assisted the Board to find an interim head quarters in Churchfield, which was a very successful partnership for five years.
The lease on this premises ran out, the Covid years followed but now the sport is expanding once again and the board are working hard to find a solution.
A number of meetings have been set up and the campaign to secure the future of Boxing on Leeside is a major priority of the Cork Boxing Board.
Meanwhile, plans are continuing to erect a statue to Jack McAuliffe, Cork’s only world champion. McAuliffe was born on March 27, 1866 in Christchurch Lane, which today forms part of Bishop Lucey Park.
These were difficult times in all parts of Ireland and Cork was a relatively poor city.
However, it still boasted its merchant princes but the country remained under British rule and for many an Irishman liberation was achieved through emigration.
Jack was baptised in St Peter and Paul’s Church. He was the first born to Con and Joan (nee Bailey) McAuliffe.
His father worked across the road in Beamish and Crawford’s Brewery as a cooper.
Just before his 10th birthday the family immigrated to the United States.
At first they settled in Maine and six years later moved to Brooklyn.
In the early 1880s he had already discovered a talent for boxing.
Just after his 16th birthday, he dismantled an English sailor in a bare knuckle contest.
Not an official bout but a comprehensive enough victory to give him a first inkling that he could forge a career with his fists.
Once in New York the teenage McAuliffe began working in the cooperage.
There, he became friend with a Kildare immigrant and future world middleweight champion Jack Dempsey and started to box properly. McAuliffe turned pro with a 17th-round knockout of Jack Karcher.
He then embarked on an undefeated run that would stretch for well over a decade.
Two years after his debut, he annexed the vacant World Lightweight title, with a 21st round knockout of Billy Frazier in Boston.
As champion, he got used to high life, good food and fine clothes. He loved the racetrack and was addicted to gambling.
Accordingly, he did not take to training to well but he was such a talented fighter it usually did not matter.
McAuliffe was a crafty, intelligent boxer who studied every move and tactic of his opponent before each fight.
He was blessed with that wonderful natural gift of extreme quickness; he was light on his feet and employed springy, bouncy, brisk movements.
He was a master strategist and possessed a wicket, sharply driven, straight left jab that cut opponents up.
He retired undefeated after 11 years as world champ and died in Forrest Hills Queens, New York in 1937.
He was among the first class of boxers inducted into Ring magazine's Hall of Fame.
Cork Boxing must salute McAuliffe as the only Cork boxer to win a world title.