Cork boxing will roll out the red carpet for the first IABA Annual Convention to be hosted on Leeside this weekend.
The Convention begins Sunday at 11am at the Commons Inn in Blackpool and will be formally opened by the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mick Finn.
In conjunction with the Convention, it promises to be a very busy weekend for boxing aficionados in the Southern Capital.
Proceedings begin on Saturday at 12 noon with a Boxing Breakfast which will be attended by IABA President and CEO, Dominic O’Rourke and Fergal Carruth and members of the IABA Officer Board, Secretary Art O’Brien, Registrar Stephen Connolly, Treasurer Larry Morrison, the IABA Central Council and the Munster Council.
The keynote speaker will be Micheál Martin, leader of the Fianna Fail Party and a great supporter of Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport.
Martin, a son of Cork boxing legend Paddy “The Champ” Martin, is expected to recall many incidents from his father’s sporting career in addition to sharing his views on the sport today in modern Ireland.
Following the Boxing Breakfast, the entourage will visit Bishop Lucey Park at 3pm where Dominic O’Rourke will unveil a plaque to Cork’s young athletes who, for the last 25 years, have brought honour to the city, courtesy of winning World and European medals.
This illustrious group of ten athletes includes Pa Walsh, Tommy Kiely, Oliver McCarthy (twice), Christina Desmond, Eamer Coughlan, Steve Cairns, Martin McDonagh, Callum Walsh, Katie O’Keeffe and Michael Faulkner.
The plaque will be positioned on the iconic Cork Boxing Hall of Fame Wall which also includes plaques to many Cork greats from the past, including World champion Jack McAuliffe and British titlist Mick Leahy, who famously beat Sugar Ray Robinson, in addition to the Roll of Honour to Cork’s Olympic boxers.
At 4.30pm, the Lord Mayor will host a reception at City Hall where the IABA President and CEO and Officer Board will receive a Civic Reception and sign the visitors book as they enjoy the hospitality of Cork’s 1st citizen.
This will be followed by an event at the Glen BC at 6pm. The Convention is also being hosted within the Blackpool area which is the homestead of the 102-year old unit.
“This will be the most prestigious groups assembled at any one time in over 100 years of Cork boxing, said Michael O’Brien, President of the Cork Board.
“Cork is very much looking forward to hosting the IABA Annual Convention on Leeside for the first time and all will enjoy the best of Leeside hospitality.”
(Images, Michael O’Brien with Dominic O’Rourke and Cork Boxing Wall)