FIGHT OF THEIR LIVES: Seanie O’Leary and Kevin Cronin of St Margaret’s Boxing Club in Tralee are fighting to keep the doors open.

By Sean Moriarty

The county’s brightest boxing prospect, Kevin Cronin, is this week calling on the public to save a boxing club which has fallen on hard times due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cronin, from Milltown, is ranked number one in the Republic of Ireland’s Light Heavy Weight division and is on the cusp of a professional career in the sport.

St Margaret’s Boxing Club, where he trains, is one of two clubs in Tralee, but it is on the verge of extinction as its limited income has completely dried up.

In the absence of a Killarney based club, Cronin could be left without one of his local training venues and fears for the future of the sport in the county as well the result the closure could have on his own professional career.

“We have to do something,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “It is vital to keep it going. I train in Dublin and Tralee, and this will be a big loss to the town as it gives kids something to do.”

The club has organised an online 10k social distancing run which has already generated over €1,000 including a donation from former Kerry football star Darran O’Sullivan.

Cronin hopes to run a professional training and sparring day in the future where boxing fans can pay for a one-on-one session with him and his coaches. Funds from this enterprise will be put back into the club, but he will have to wait until restrictions are lifted before it can go ahead.

Cronin is preparing for a professional bout against a yet unnamed opponent that will be broadcast on US sporting channel ESPN, subject to post-COVID-19 sporting permits.

“It is a great opportunity and I am going to use it to mention the club live on television to millions of fans,” he added.

To help check out GoFundMe: Help Save St. Margarets Boxing Club.