CORK HONOURS ITS OLYMPIC BOXING GREATS

Cork rolled out the red carpet for their Olympic boxing heroes at a spectacular ceremony on Leeside recently.The names of Cork’s nine boxing Olympians since Ireland first entered the Olympic Games as an independent nation in 1924 were inscribed on a plaque which was erected in Bishop Lucey Park.

Willie “Boy” Murphy, Joe Kelleher and Mossy Doyle boxed in Paris in 1924. The trio represented Ireland and the Army ninety years ago.

Doyle was beaten by the eventual gold medallist, Jackie Fields, real name Jacob Finkelstein, of the USA, in the preliminaries in 1924 in Paris. The Jewish/American featherweight was 16 years, five months and eleven days old when he won gold and has been confirmed by AIBA as the youngest Olympic champion of all time.

Willie “Boy” Murphy also lined out at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam for the Garda BC, while James Murphy, no relation to Willie “Boy”, boxed at the 1932 Olympiad in Los Angeles, also for the Garda BC.

Paddy Kenny competed at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and shared a dressing room with the legendary Muhammad Ali, who won light-heavy gold in the Eternal City.

Almost a quarter of a century later, Kieran Joyce boxed at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 Games in Seoul, while Paul Buttimer and Michael Roche wore Irish vests at the 1992 and 2000 Games in Barcelona and Sydney. The trio represented Ireland and the Sunnyside BC.

World Youth silver medallist Christina Desmond (Macroom BC) represented Ireland at the recent Youth Olympics in China.

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years