THE passing of former Ulster Boxing president and secretary, Pat McCrory on Monday has sparked a flood of tributes to the man who was central to Belfast hosting the 2001 World Amateur Championships.

Pat was an ever-present in the corner of fighters or in the boardroom, his influence to those in charge of running the sport globally helping bring the best fighters in the world to the Odyssey Arena at the turn of the millennium including Guillermo Rigondeaux, Odlanier Solís, David Haye and Carl Froch who all medalled in Belfast.

He would establish the Elmfield BC in Glengormley back in 1970 with the club now bearing the name of its location and would work his way through the ranks as an administrator with the County Antrim Board, serving first as secretary and then as president, then moving onto the provincial council as president.

McCrory was a regular fixture at the Olympic Games for two decades, spanning from Seoul in 1988 to Beijing in 2008, while he also played a part in a number of Commonwealth Games including 1978 when he was in the corner for Barry McGuigan who claimed gold.

In 19684, he became an internationally-qualified referee and judge (R&J), going on to become secretary of the AIBA Referee and Judges Commission.

Yet his crowning glory was bringing those World Championships to Belfast, a nod to the esteem he was held globally, while also being a key figure in attracting Cuba and several other nations to Belfast for training camps ahead of the 2012 Olympics in London.

A statement from the County Antrim Board read: "County Antrim Boxing sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of boxing stalwart Pat McCrory. 

"Pat served as president and secretary of the County Antrim Board, president and secretary of the Ulster Boxing Council and Secretary of the World R&J committee. 

"Pat was a leading figure in bringing the 2001 World Senior/Elite Boxing Championships to Belfast. Pat will be missed by all involved in the Sport. He was also until recently heavily involved in Glengormley BC and still attending championships. RIP Pat."

Antrim GAA also paid tribute with current senior hurler, Joe Maskey, a grandson of Pat. They said: "CLG Aontroma are saddened to hear the passing of Pat McCrory who is grandfather of senior hurler Joe Maskey and sister Sarah Jane Maskey. Sincerely sad news sending them our prayers."

Former world champion and Olympic medallist Wayne McCullough also offered his condolences: "Great memories with Pat McCrory. He was such a big part of my amateur career oftentimes as the team manager. He will be missed by all of us in the boxing world."