Two South Kilkenny GAA clubs have launched their fund-raiser with a difference.
Kilmacow and Slieverue came together on Saturday to launch The Deep South Showdown. The event will see 10 members from each club become boxers in a series of bouts to be held in the Community Hall in Kilmacow on Saturday, March 8.
Present at the launch of the event, which locals have dubbed the ‘Brawl in the Hall II’ were Slieverue’s Ger Frisby, Mary Rockett,Eddie Rockett, Jim Freyne and Peter Gaynor. Attending from the Kilmacow club were Paddy O’Keeffe, James O’Neill, Shane Gaule and Micheal Atkins.
“Both clubs were looking for a novel way to raise funds in these challenging times,” said Kilmacow club PRO James O’Neill. “We tried this venture in 2012, and it was a massive success.
“We have both worked really hard at committee level to ensure it will be a great night,” he added. “We are indebted to the players that have stepped up to the plate, and ask people to come along and their support.’’
The players have already been in training for three weeks, completing a programme of fitness and core training, while also undergoing technical coaching under the watchful eye of Billy O’Sullivan, a sixth dan black belt and a master of kickboxing, and his team of coaches.
Over the years Billy has trained four world champions, six European champions and numerous Irish champions. In 2005 Billy received a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to the sport of boxing. Billy will also be the referee on the night.
Once agreement was reached in January, the two clubs then contacted and employed the services of Red Dragon Boxing Club, specialists in these types of events.
The boxers have not only been training hard, but they have each employed a manager who will be their man at ringside. They will each also have to pick an entrance song or tune that best reflects their character or is aimed at gaining a psychological advantage over their opponent.
Some of the boxers from both clubs are Kilmacow with Ryan McKenna, Ian Ahearn, Emmett Blanchfield, Paul Long, Kevin McNamara, Paul Laffan, Conor Dowling, Shane Power, Bob Croke and Luke Harney. In the Slieverue corner are Paul Rockett, Ross Kelly, Sean Roche, Richie Roche, Robert Roche, Niall Walsh, Bill Irish, Gavin Quilty, Brian Grant and Conor O’Toole.
Doors open at 7.30pm on the night and there will be a fully licensed and supervised bar in operation. This was a great event and night in 2012, and given the work that’s been put in to date, both in and outside the ring, it promises to be a wonderful night’s entertainment again.
Tickets, which cost €20, are available from any committee member or the boxers.