On This Day: August 1st

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1952: Bantamweight John McNally defeated Korean Joon-Ho Kang to secure a silver medal for Ireland at the Helsinki Olympics. The Belfast teenager had made history the previous day by beating Italian Vincenzo Dall’Osso in the quarters to guarantee Ireland their first ever boxing medal. McNally was sadly denied controversially on a split decision in the final against Finnish home favourite Pentti Hamalainen.

2014: There silver for Belfast boxers at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with Michaela Walsh and Joe Fitzpatrick reaching the finals. Divis lightweight Fitzpatrick defeated Trinidadian Michael Alexander to reach the decider following wins over Lesotho’s Ghobosheane Mohlerepe and Kenyan Nick Okoth in the previous rounds. In the final Fitzpatrick would be beaten by Scottish star Charlie Flynn.

Holy Trinity flyweight Walsh defeated Indian on a majority decision to make the final following wins over Mauritian Tessa Duma and Jamaican Sarah-Joy Rae. Walsh was edged out on a split decision, which she vigorously disagreed with, by English star and Rio gold medal favourite Nicola Adams.

1925: Belfast’s Dave Magill defended his Irish light heavyweight title at Croke Park against Corconian Jack Mahony. The Belfast man, who also had previously held the Irish heavyweight crown, outpointed Mahony after 15 grueling rounds.

2014: Frankie Gavin attempted to unify the Commonwealth and European welterweight titles but lost out on a split decision (113-114 x2, 115-112) to Italian-based Sierra Leonean Leonard Bundu. Gavin was heavily out down by a body shot in the sixth but just about managed to survive. A clash of styles, the pressure and activity of Bundu proved to be the telling factor on the final scorecards. Following the fight in Wolverhampton Bundu secured a clash with American star Keith Thurman where he would be outpointed.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie