When it comes to most things, there has to be inspiration and motivation in order for success to be achieved and sport, and in this instance boxing, is no different. What’s been extremely common over the years is to see boxers come through and make their way up the division, basing their style or persona on a fighter who has gone before them. Here we take a look at which Irish boxing greats that people can call upon for inspiration if they’re just starting out.
We start this list with the inclusion of one man who seems to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons at times but he’s someone many young Irish boxers can call on for inspiration. The Gypsy King has had to overcome much adversity in his career so far, including battles with mental health issues but he has an unblemished record in the heavyweight division, with a comeback on the cards. 25 wins from 25 fights, with 18 by KO and an impressive victory over Wladimir Klitschko saw him hold the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles.
Barry McGuigan showed everything that was good about Irish and British boxing at a time when trouble was flaring. The featherweight, who’s now a successful promoter, was a world champion and was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame, as well as receiving an MBE from the Queen. It was both his in the ring ability as well as his personality that made him and still make him an inspiration for the young boxers coming through.
Jimmy McLarnin was an Irish-Canadian welterweight boxing world champion who, like McGuigan, was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame. A Sportingbet spokesman claimed that for many people, Jimmy is the greatest Irish boxer to ever live and many people believe him to be in the top 3 welterweights of all time. He had 68 fights over the course of his career, winning 54, with 21 by the way of knockout. He’s a man that many young boxers look up to thanks to him being at the top of his game for so long.
If there was ever an Irish boxer to draw inspiration from, people can’t really go far wrong with Wayne McCullough. Not only did McCullough hold the bantamweight world title from 1995 to 1997 but he also challenged for world titles at other weights too. He was renowned for being relentless on the front foot in the ring, with dogged determination and an iron chin and you’d be hard pushed to find a tougher Irish boxer to ever enter the ring. He also represented his country at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, 1990 Commonwealth Games, 1990 World Cup and the 1991 World Championships, winning two medals. His boxing record stood at 34 fights, 27 wins with 18 of those coming by the way of KO.