‘Punch Up’ promotion proves popular
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A joint promotion by whitecollarboxing.ie and Mitchelstown Rugby Club in Coolenave Industrial Park last Saturday night proved a big hit with patrons and participants. An expensive show to produce, this is not a venture you can undertake lightly, however, with the necessary input, a significant profit can and was realised.
Like many rugby clubs throughout Ireland, Mitchelstown RFC are in the business of setting up a permanent home for themselves, complete with related facilities. A major undertaking by any standard, the St. Patrick's Eve Punch Up was an important first step on the long journey ahead. The fact that the event dominated conversation for much of St. Patrick's Day speaks volumes for its success.
Those who attended were of the view that it delivered spectacularly when it came to entertainment and value for money. The show was very slick and came complete with lighting, visual effects, music, dry ice, glamorous models, strongmen, expensive vehicles and corporate hospitality.
The stars of the show were the boxers who deserve considerable credit for boldy going where few dare to thread. Those charged with pairing the boxers did an exceptional job and there were no mis-matches. Mercifully, the fully equipped first aid station adjacent to the ring wasn't required and the bulk of the fighters emerged relatively unscathed after their pugilistic experience.
The celebrity bout brought together political rivals, Cllr. Kevin O'Keeffe (FF) and Labour's Noel McCarthy. Billed as a 'blood and guts tear up', there was much in the way of guts but little or no blood spilt. As with all the other contests, charities and voluntary groups were the real winners with Kevin flying the flag for COPE, Mitchelstown and Noelie Mac doing his bit for Liam's Lifts (an organisation that helps cancer patients with transport to and from treatment centres).
The other heavily promoted fight featured popular Mitchelstown based garda, Liam O'Connor who, appropriately enough I suppose, was ferried to the ring in a 'Paddy' wagon. Given his reputation as a top class hurler and that he deals with some troublesome characters for a living, sourcing a suitable opponent for Liam wasn't easy. In the end match makers travelled across the border to Limerick where they booked the services of Joseph Mullins, a powerfully built ESB worker who ticked all the boxes in terms of stamina, toughness and durability. This turned out to be an absolute cracker, with both men going on the attack from the opening bell. There was a bit of wrestling thrown in and more than a few punches thrown after the bell, all of which culminated in a split decision in favour of the law enforcer. There was a fully mertied standing ovation at the finish for the two men.
Away from the cut and thrust of the fisticuffs, patrons could eat and drink their fill. Security was tight but not over bearing and the entire event had a very professional feel to it. At night's end, Mitchelstown RFC had benefited as did all the charities associated with the boxers - in summary a night with no real losers.
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