Ireland’s leading female boxers touch gloves in star-studded charity bout

TWO of Ireland’s leading female boxers, Olga Cronin (Dungarvan) and Laura O’Neill (Kilkenny), will touch gloves when Rylane Boxing Club stage a star-studded charity show in aid of Macroom Hospital at the River Park Hotel in Macroom on Sunday night.

Both boxers were winners when Ireland boxed an English selection in the first all-female boxing international which was staged in Dungarvan at the beginning of the month and since then, Olga Cronin has gone on to win the Munster title.

Katie Taylor’s back to back successes at European and world championships have resulted in an upsurge in interest in Irish female boxing which is going from strength to strength and Sunday night’s pairing will highlight this fact.

David Barrett from the promoting club will again claim his place at the top of the bill. Last season’s national intermediate welterweight champion has figured in two sell-out shows at the venue this season.

This time he faces an up and coming opponent in Patrick O’Shea from the high flying St Colman’s of Shanagarry.

David Barrett’s brother, Seanie, was an outstanding all-round athlete who won all-Ireland minor and vocational schools football medals with Cork as well as a number of national juvenile cross-country titles but as a former national senior boxing champion, he will be remembered as the man who cut short Francie Barrett’s Olympic career by beating him in the lead up to Sydney 2000.

David has been hammering out quite a reputation of his own and, after taking time out since winning the national intermediate title, will be already focused on next year’s seniors.

He will have interesting opposition in Patrick O’Shea, one of Maurice Walsh’s proteges, who is also moving in the direction of a national title.

The long awaited Munster intermediate middleweight final will take place on this bill and it brings together two great rivals. Niall Healy (Bantry) and Nicky “One Shot” Barry (Riverstown) have already met twice this season with both decisions going to the Bantry man by narrow margins. In fact just one point decided the first contest while the second went to a count-back. While every Munster boxer wants to win the provincial title Barry will have an extra incentive this time around.

At the last show in Macroom super-heavyweights Eamonn Higgins (UCC) and Trevor Oldham (Leeside/Lough) met in a desperately close contest with Higgins just shading it and they are back in action again on this bill.

Two recently crowned Munster champions, Owen Dennehy (Rylane) and Daragh O’Mahony (Leeside/Lough) will touch gloves in a 48 kg Boy 3 contest that will be close. Both will contest the upcoming national juvenile championships at different weights so this will be a rare opportunity to see them in opposition.

Donal Og O’Leary, a member of the well known Kilnamartyra football family, will be in action against Kieran O’Neill (UCC) while, in another middleweight contest, John Murray (Rylane) will meet Owen Hurley (Macroom) who will have a huge local following.

Dean Desmond (Rylane) and Corey Moloney (St Colman’s) will provide a repeat of the Youth 2 County final which was a great contest while Pat Fitzgibbon (Rylane) and Roy Lane (St Colman’s) meet in a Boy 3 contest.

Conor O’Sullivan (Macroom) and Daragh Power (Dungarvan) are paired while Rylane and Maroom will be in opposite corners when Olan Burns and Richard Balfe touch gloves and Stephen Dowdall and John Hegarty meet in a junior featherweight contest.

Michael Keller will entertain David O’Neill (Leeside/Lough) in a youth’s heavyweight contest while Josh McCarthy is awaiting an opponent for his heavyweight bout.

In two juvenile contests Rylane boys Daniel O’Sullivan and Dylan Kelleher will meet two boxers from the Leeside/Lough club, Mark Russell and Cian Hourihan.

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