Paulstown Boxing Club’s 50th-anniversary celebrations over the weekend came with a double helping of good news for the local club.
In all, 17 bouts were booked for the 50th-anniversary tournament with specially-commissioned medals presented to winners on the night. Alongside a healthy representation from the Paulstown club, boxers also featured from Portlaoise, Callan, Clane, Marble City Boxing Club, Ballagh, Gorey and more.
Along with the in-house competition and the release of a new book to mark the club’s 50 years, IABA president Gerry Mahoney was on hand in Paulstown on Friday night to present club stalwart Ollie O’Neill with a lifetime achievement award recognising his services and commitment to the sport.
Taking to social media, Ollie said he was “absolutely stunned” to receive the award.
With the club opening its doors in 1972, the O’Neill family have been at the heart of operations in Paulstown over the past 50 years, producing numerous champions at all age grades including eight-time national elite, former EU, World Golden Gloves champion and Olympian Darren O’Neill, who will now take up a place on the board of directors for the sport’s organising body (IABA).
O’Neill has been elected as a non-executive director following a ballot of IABA members and having secured 81 votes, joins the board alongside its first female member, Fiona Hennigan. The IABA’s AGM was held on Sunday with interim chair Tom Geraghty confirming the body are currently recruiting for a new independent chair on a three-year term.
The group’s anti-doping report for 2022 was also published, outlining requirements for those currently registered in the testing pool of the Irish Sports Council while highlighting a lack of funding that lead to retirements of tutors delivering anti-doping workshops.
O’Neill has been quite vocal in recent times against corruption in the sport of boxing, speaking on Full Time back in September about boxing’s involvement in the Olympic Games with the possibility of the sport not featuring at the 2028 games in LA.