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Old 08-05-2012, 07:37 AM   #1
Matty lll
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Default Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

For such a small country, we have produced a lot of good if not great boxers in the amateurs as well as the pros.

We've had some good pros like Neil Sinclair(who was a good amateur and boxed out of my gym), Wayne McCullough(another good amateur), Brian Magee(a solid amateur) and of course the most recent is the young Carl Frampton(another good amateur) as well as some good amateurs like Paddy Barnes. Not bad for a country smaller than most american states and a population lower than a lot of big cities.

You have the HOFer(maybe not deservedly) Barry McGuigan, McGuigan didn't have a particularly decorated amateur career unlike a lot of our boxers but he had a fantastic pro career that saw him crowned the featherweight championship of the world. McGuigan is also famous for uniting the people of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. He transcened boxing and didn't support either side, he was a catholic but didn't wear green white and gold on his shorts and didn't identify himself with either side. It's this more anything why he is so famous over here. I like this quote from Barry himself -

"the shadows ran deep. And my fights felt a little like sunshine. Both sides would say: 'Leave the fighting to McGuigan.' You see, it was also entertainment – people loved to forget the Troubles a while. The fact that I wouldn't wear green, white and gold or put on a sign that said this is who I represent was powerful. It was a very mature and dangerous thing to do. I wouldn't choose sides. People appreciated that."


I think our best boxer is John Caldwell, who had a great a amateur career and a great pro career that saw him become a world champion. He also had a big unification fight with the legendary brazilian Eder Jofre. He lost that fight but he managed to go 10 rounds with the Brazilian.

He got beat by another Northern Irishman Freddie Gilroy shortly after and in that fight the damage that Caldwell recieved to his eyes pretty much ended his career. He was never the same after that. Despite that though I feel that it is Caldwell is our best boxer.

What say you ESB?

Last edited by Matty lll; 08-05-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best Northern irish boxer ever?

McGuigan was good.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best Northern irish boxer ever?

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McGuigan was good.
Flip forgot to put McGuigan in Yes I would have McGuigan as the second best behind Caldwell
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
Matty lll
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

Just found out about Jimmy McClarnin, who was a two-time welterweight world champion and a Hall of Famer. Don't know much about him though so I won't say anything about him, he was only born in NI too so some might count him as american. For anyone familiar with him did he consider himself Irish or American?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

jimmy was born on the lisburn road. His family are from Hillsborough and he lived there until aged 3. He still has relatives in Bangor.


One of the best fighters to come outta belfast actually never turned pro. Jim mc Court had just over 400 fights, losing just 20. Got a medal at the tokyo olympics, being robbed in the semi's. The guy who he was robbed against got beat in the final and Jim fought the gold madel winner 3 months later and beat him. Won a commonwealth gold too, winning all inside the distance (he wasnt a big puncher either). Was rated no1 in the world for over 4yrs, beat more than 14 ABA champions. Great fighter
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

Jesus, i almost forgot John Joseph Monaghan.

Rinty was a great underated fighter, arguably the best to come outta ireland
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

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Originally Posted by Matty lll View Post
Just found out about Jimmy McClarnin, who was a two-time welterweight world champion and a Hall of Famer. Don't know much about him though so I won't say anything about him, he was only born in NI too so some might count him as american. For anyone familiar with him did he consider himself Irish or American?
Yes McLarnin was born in County Down, but in 1907, County Down in the province of Ulster was part of Ireland. 'Northern Ireland' per se did not come into being until 1922, when the province of Ulster was split from the 'Irish Free State'.

So I would say a Northern Irish fighter (although they do not have to of been in Ulster) would need to be born on or after December 7th 1922. Thus McGuigan probably sneaks it for me, if Monaghan misses the cut on the date.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

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Yes McLarnin was born in County Down, but in 1907, County Down in the province of Ulster was part of Ireland. 'Northern Ireland' per se did not come into being until 1922, when the province of Ulster was split from the 'Irish Free State'.

So I would say a Northern Irish fighter (although they do not have to of been in Ulster) would need to be born on or after December 7th 1922. Thus McGuigan probably sneaks it for me, if Monaghan misses the cut on the date.
Yes I know mate, I know the history of my own country

If you want we can say 'the best fighters who were born in the region that is now Northern Ireland'
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

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Jesus, i almost forgot John Joseph Monaghan.

Rinty was a great underated fighter, arguably the best to come outta ireland
I've heard of Rinty but he's another guy I don't know a lot about, the best to come out of Ireland you say
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

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Yes I know mate, I know the history of my own country

If you want we can say 'the best fighters who were born in the region that is now Northern Ireland'
Fair dues: The best fighter to come from Ulster is McLarnin, and I suspect, by quite some distance.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

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Fair dues: The best fighter to come from Ulster is McLarnin, and I suspect, by quite some distance.
I'll catch a few fights of his later on today, after I finish watching this Solo Boxeo card from last night
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Who is the best Northern irish boxer ever?

McLarnin retired Benny Leonard?
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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McLarnin retired Benny Leonard?
Technically correct, but the stock market crash of 1929 deserves a dishonourable mention as the reason Leonard came back was he was skint.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #14
Matty lll
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Technically correct, but the stock market crash of 1929 deserves a dishonourable mention as the reason Leonard came back was he was skint.
Oh yeah I remember that from a documentary now actually. What would be a good fight of his to watch do you think? You seem to know a lot of about him, are you from Ireland?
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #15
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Oh yeah I remember that from a documentary now actually. What would be a good fight of his to watch do you think? You seem to know a lot of about him, are you from Ireland?
No I am from London.

As for what to watch; If I had to take to pick three fights, McLarnin is defined by the Ross trilogy in mine and I suspect many other more knowledgeable people's opinions.
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