CORK boxing will officially begin its journey back to the future later this month with the opening of an eight-day exhibition of Leeside boxing memorabilia on August 16 at the City Library on Grand Parade.

Speaking at the promotional launch last Friday night, Cork County Boxing Board President Michael O’Brien explained that the exhibition will take pride in and reflect on the outstanding achievements of so many associated with the sport for over the last 100 years and that many exclusive items will be on display.

“The exhibition will display a treasure trove of rare gems many of which the Cork sporting public has never seen, O’Brien remarked.

“Over the last five years, boxing on Leeside has enjoyed a renaissance and the success achieved by Cork’s boxers at national and international level has been truly remarkable.

“While the clubs, coaches and boxers have brought pride and glory to the county, the onus was also on the administrators of Cork boxing to preserve our heritage and history and link it to past glories which will ultimately consolidate the sport where so many volunteers for so many years have given outstanding service.”

The exhibition is a joint effort on behalf of the various Cork boxing Associations. Additionally, the County Board, Cork Ex Boxers and Cork Boxing Fraternity have elected a historical society committee and the event will be formally opened on August 16 at 2pm.

Micheál Martin’s family is steeped in the traditions of the sport on Leeside. The Fianna Fail leader will officially open the exhibition.

His brother Sean Martin, is the current President of the Spartan BC in Turner’s Cork. Likewise, links to their father, Paddy “The Champ” Martin, will be on display.

Partnership support for the event has been obtained from the City Council, The Echo, 96 FM and the City Librarian Liam Ronayne and his staff who will work hand in glove with Cork boxing.

The guest of honour on the day is Cork’s 1st Citizen, the Lord Mayor Cllr. John Sheehan. The artefacts will be varied over many generations.

Over 500 photographs will rotate on a teleprompter at 5-second intervals on each day of the exhibition to give an all-embracing overview of the sport from 1913 to the present day.

“Many people have supplied materials and pieces of family value for the exhibition,” O’Brien added.

“This is the first exhibition of this nature in the history of Cork boxing and it promises to capture the imagination of the sporting public.”

(Images – Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin and Cork officials and the iconic Cork Boxing Wall in Bishop Lucey Park)