Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Boxing at the Priory?? Yes!
We were pleased to host the first annual Pittsburgh Donnybrook in March at our Grand Hall. It featured 11 amateur fighters from Dublin, Ireland, who squared off against 11 Pittsburgh area fighters. The Irish delegation was lead by Irish Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Carruth. The fight was televised on PCNC Television, and the Pittsburgh team ended up winning the Ambassador's Cup 6-5. More than 700 guests were in attendance, and the event had sold out several weeks in advance. Proceeds from the bouts benefited the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League (operated by legendary fight trainer Jimmy Cvetic), Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, and Hibernian Celtic Athletic Fund. Dignitaries in attendance included former IBF lightweight boxing champion Paul Spadafora, Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle.
Special thanks to our staff, who were calm in the face of a type of event (and crowd) that we had not handled before, and to Mike Diven, a former state legislator who served as the organizer and promoter of the bouts. He and his compatriots put together a great event in just a few months time. We were proud to host them!
For a great summary of the event, read Brady McCollough's piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.
For a telling of how the Donnybrook was coming together mid-stream, read columnist Brian O'Neill's column here.
For TV's take on the making of the bouts, take a look at WQED's coverage here.
For our local NPR affiliate WESA's take, along with an interview with the principals, see here.
Pittsburgh Magazine's blog covered the event here.
A link to the Donnybrook's Facebook page is here.