The team of 20 boxers and officials from clubs across Bristol is taking part in a special tournament organised as part of an inaugural Cork-Bristol Boxing Exchange.
The group will fight 14 young amateur Cork boxers, all members of clubs under the Cork County Boxing Board, in a tournament which starts at 7pm on Saturday in the Cork Boxing Centre in Churchfield.
Four of the bouts will be female, and 10 male — the Irish team features national champions Nicole Hayes (17) from Togher, and Martin Mc Donogh (16) from the Glen, as well as Conni Vaughan from Duhallow and elite boxer Shauna O’Keeffe from Clonmel. They will be up against six current national UK champions, Natalie Craig, Elizabeth Bools, Jacob Croot, Jordan O’Donoghue, Kerry Davis and Jack Bannister.
“This is going to be a great night of boxing and everyone is really excited about it,” said Kirstie Smith, Cork County Boxing Board’s grant and support officer.
Sponsorship has already been agreed by Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park and the Titanic Experience in Cobh, while on the Bristol side, sponsorship has been pledged by the SS Great Britain Visitor Experience.
Sponsorship funds raised will be used by Cork County Boxing Board and Bristol Sporting Club to develop the exchange programme and continue to promote links between the two cities through boxing. Some of the proceeds will also be donated to charity.
“This event, organised by the Cork County Boxing Board and Bristol Sporting Club is an opportunity to showcase and progress the boxing talent in both cities whilst highlighting the similarities between our two great cities,” said Ms Smith.
The Bristol team will also meet Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh in City Hall and visit the Titanic Experience in Cobh.
“It will help to showcase the links between Bristol and Cork,” Ms Smith explained, adding the boxers which include teenage boys and girls ranging from age 13 up to adults in their late twenties, would benefit hugely from the initiative.
“Clubs all over Cork are asking how they can get their boxers involved in the second leg of the exchange planned for September 2017.
For more information on the event, visit www.facebook.com/corkbristolboxingexchange