Although we tend to predominately focus on professional boxing here at Boxing News and Views, recently we had an opportunity to do a short amateur boxing special feature in Ireland.
A couple of trips of mine to Riverstown Boxing Club (Cork, Ireland) in my hometown reminded me of how special this sport we call boxing really is at it’s grass roots.
In a time we live in today in professional boxing where trash talk, money and brashness are more frequent than many would like, it was refreshing to go back to the humility and realness of an amateur boxing gym to get a taste of where the world champions of tomorrow are made.
It’s behind these walls, sweat and blood stained ring aprons in gyms like this that unsung heroes of amateur boxing (voluntary coaches and staff) work tirelessly night after night, week after week, with young women and men looking to partake in a sport to better themselves, whether it be from a health and fitness perspective or a career pursuit.
We caught up with one young man who last year became a Junior World Silver medallist called Eamer Caughlan in this particular gym.
At 17 years of age he is looking to represent his country at the next Olympics in 2020:
After meeting Eamer, his coaches and father I have no doubt he will go as far as he wants in boxing mainly because of his attitude and the good people around him.
The skill and power of such a young man was apparent from just watching him train and spar with lads physically bigger than himself.
After the visits to the gym recently more than anything I came away with thinking how important grassroots boxing is.
The amateur and professional code seem to have grown closer together in the sport of boxing over the last decade. The removal of head guards at the recent Rio 20106 Olympics being an example of this.
But grassroots boxing must never be neglected or forgotten about in it’s purest form like the above I feel, despite the recent controversies surrounding amateur boxing after the Rio Olympics.
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