KILKENNY will stage its first major international boxing tournament in nearly 20 years on Saturday week.
The main functions room in the plush Springhill Court hotel on the Waterford Road will be transformed into a boxing arena for the night when an Elite Irish schoolboys’ selection takes on their Scottish counterparts.
The event is being organised and financed by the host club, Marble City boxing club in co-operation with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
And the Marble City will have two of its finest on the Irish selection in national champions, Kevin Kehoe (62 kilos) and Noel Kehoe (56 kilos), grandchildren of one of the stalwarts of the club, Noel Kehoe.
“It was a great honour and a big undertaking for the club to be asked to stage this tournament,” explained club PRO, Stuart Leahy, who will manage the Irish team on the night and lead out the boxers for the opening ceremony.
The last time such an event was staged in Kilkenny was in 1994 when teams from the US and Ireland faced each other.
The Marble City club was founded in October 1992, and among its national champions are Mark Hoban, Richie O’Reilly, Fran O’Reilly (twice) and the Kehoes’, Noel and Kevin.
“This will be a proud night for our club,” insisted one of the founding members Noel Kehoe, club treasurer and former President of the Leinster Provincial Council.
Only two other boxers from the club gained representative honours, Gerry Kelly, Muckalee, against Scotland and Gary Kehoe (another relation of the treasurer) against England.
The club is splashing out in the region of 5,000 euro to stage the event. Tickets cost 10 each, and they can be acquired from the Springhill hotel or any committee member of the club.
Crest of wave
Anyone who would like to sponsor a bout can do so for 60 euro. At the time of going to press ten of the 16 bouts on the card had a sponsors name attached.
“Boxing is on the crest of a wave at the moment in Ireland and possible Olympians of the future will be in action,” Stuart Leahy said. “With the talent on show it promises to be a great event.”
Officers or the club include Noel Kehoe (treasurer and member of the Leinster Provincial Council), Ross Kehoe (secretary), Stuart Leahy (PRO), Willie John Kehoe, Richie Ruth, Aidan Staunton, Paul Cody, Mark Sheridan, Noel Kehoe (junior) and Billy Carrigan (President).