Sport

Irish boxing has "become a toxic brand" - Kieran Cunningham


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A major manhunt is under way after a shooting in Wicklow which left a 50 year old man dead and two others seriously injured.

Up to 20 people were training at Bray Boxing club when a gunman entered and opened fire just before 7am this morning.

Katie Taylor’s father Pete is one of those taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries.

It is the latest violent day involving Irish boxing in recent years. 

We were joined by The Irish Daily Star chief sports writer Kieran Cunningham to discuss the wider context around the sport.

"I think it's become a toxic brand to be honest," he said.

You can listen into Kieran Cunningham in full on the podcast: 

"We often scoff at public relations people but if you were to bring in a PR expert and run through everything that's happened in the last few years, and they say these are the kind of headlines Irish boxing's made." 

Touching on some of the most high profile issues from recent years first at amateur level and then at professional, he said, "At professional level, you had a man killed at a weigh-in at the Regency Hotel a couple of years ago, you had a shooting outside the National Stadium in February. Two people were shot while there was an under-18 event going on inside."

Cunningham also pointed out that security and insurance issues mean it is virtually impossible to stage boxing events in the Republic of Ireland now and over recent years.

"There's insurance issues, there's security issues and also there's a wider issue for sport. It must be a nightmare trying to get sponsors when all the headlines now over the last few years have been so negative."


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