20 February 2010 – By Steve Wellings
The cream of Irish boxing attended the Bogart Menswear National Boxing Awards annual on Saturday, January 23 at An Culturlann on Belfasts Falls Road.
Host Cormac Campbell (editor of irish-boxing.com) and the head of the Irish Boxing Supporters Club Bobby Lavery ensured the event ran smoothly as guests were treated to food, downstairs in an attractive location, before the ceremony began.
Bernard Dunne was named boxer of the year following a remarkable 2009 that saw the Dubliner both win and lose the WBA super-bantamweight title in dramatic fashion. With Dunne unable to attend, due to prior engagements, his coach Harry Hawkins gratefully accepted the prize, watched on by a receptive audience that included last years winner Paul McCloskey.
At the previous awards, in Newry Arts Centre, Martin Lindsay had claimed prospect of the year and this time Carl Frampton fought off stiff competition from Cork middleweight Gary OSullivan to win that same accolade. Eddie Hyland (accompanied by brother Patrick and father Paddy) scooped Irish champion of the year.
Guest speaker Mel Christle of the Boxing Union of Ireland opened proceedings before giving way to boxing historian and author of Legends of Irish Boxing: Stories Seldom Told Barry Flynn who entered two Irish heroes into the hall of fame. Joining last years inductee Rinty Monaghan were the late Johnnie Caldwell and former Olympian John McNally, who was in good form accepting the honour. McNally won a silver medal at the 1952 Olympic Games in Finland.
John Breen received the coach of the year prize after an eventful 2009. Members of Breens current stable, Kevin OHara, Neil Sinclair and Jamie Conlan were in attendance while former charge Martin Rogan was in his usual fine fettle and itching for a ring return.
Carl Frampton – alongside coach Gerry Storey – and Harry Hawkins were grilled on the couch by host Campbell before the photographers and cameramen assembled all boxers for a group shot. The banners, lights and masses of equipment were then taken down and the curtain drawn on another successful year for Irish boxing.
Im pleased with the way it went and the boxers and members of the audience commented on what a good night they had, said host Campbell after the show. This is a great spot and well be back again. The event will get stronger every year.
For more information on how to join the Irish Boxing Supporters Club contact Bobby Lavery at [email protected] for more details.