St. Colman’s are victims of their own success. The tournament has been staged at the Garryvoe Hotel since the mid 80’s but it has grown so much in recent years that the venue can no longer cater for it.
“The Walter Raleigh Hotel is an ideal venue but we are hoping that the fans will follow us there,” Kevin Walsh, former national senior champion, said.
“Of course we are also hoping to pick up some new fans in Youghal. Anyway it is not a hundred miles from our base and we have a pretty good bill to draw them.”
They will be without their most recent champion however. Shane O’Sullivan became their 30th champion since 1985 when he won the national intermediate light heavyweight title in December, but he cracked a knuckle in training last week and will be out of action for a while.
In the meantime the club is looking around for a replacement opponent for Jamie Power from the St. Francis club in Limerick to complete what would then be a 15-bout programme.
Already 14 bouts have been arranged. Top of the bill will feature Ronan Hurley, their intermediate middleweight, against Gary Collins from Dungarvan.
They have met twice previously and the score is one apiece at the present time.
Edward Healy from Portlaoise, a finalist in the national intermediate championships, returns to Cork to renew rivalry with the talented Fr. Horgan’s man, Thomas Jacobs. When they touched gloves in Cobh a couple of weeks ago Healy shaded a majority decision and Jacobs will be all out to reverse that.
St. Colman’s have six boxers through to next week’s Munster Youths Championships in Dungarvan and they will all be in action.
Big performances can be expected from Tom McGrath, Ian Smiddy and Eoin Walsh, in particular. McGrath will meet Vincent Kinsella (St. Francis), Ian Smiddy faces Wayne Mullins (Riverstown), the most improved boxer in Cork, while Eoin Walsh meets Gary O’Neill (Leeside/Lough).
The spotlight will be on the Mullins-Smiddy fight when fans will be looking for a repeat of their clash in the county championships when Mullins won.
Smiddy, however, also goes through to the Munsters as a defending champion.
Also included on the bill will be newcomers Alan and Barry Kelly who joined the club last year and are county champions now, John McGrath, brother of Tom, Michael Kallick who hails from Youghal and he will be out to please the home crowd.
Two Ballymacoda lads, Seamus Harrington and Shane Donnelly, and Billy O’Sullivan, who has been out of boxing for some five years, makes his comeback at light middleweight. He will be hoping to emulate Eanna Falvey who returned after a long layoff to win national intermediate and senior titles under Maurice Walsh who has been turning out champions since the club was founded.