Deputy Lord Mayor Mick Nugent, Cork County Boxing Board president Mick O’Brien, and president of the Ex-Boxers Association Timmy O’Sullivan were among the guests, sharing tales of yesteryear and outlining plans for the future of Cork boxing.
McAuliffe — or the Napoleon of the Ring as he was known — was born in Christ Church Lane on March 27, 1886. He emigrated in the 1870s and forged a training partnership and friendship with Kildare immigrant and future world champion Jack Dempsey. McAuliffe turned pro at 18 and, after only two years as a professional, annexed the world lightweight title in a 21st-round knockout of Billy Frazier in Boston.
He was one of only nine men to retire undefeated, with a record of 22 wins, 5 draws and zero defeats, joining other great undefeated fighters such as Rocky Marciano. This catapulted the Corkman into the first class of boxers to be inducted into the Ring magazine’s boxing Hall of Fame.
A dedicated humanitarian, he opened soup kitchens and lodging houses for the destitute and homeless around his home in New York city. The Cork County Boxing board paid tribute to this work by honouring Catriona Twomey of Cork’s Penny Dinners during the event.
The Glen Boxing club were also honoured in their centenary year, while great boxing brothers Donal and Dinny Carroll, and current boxing star Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan were also among the honoured guests.
Jack McCauliffe died in Forrest Hills, Queens, New York, in 1937.