It’s not as celebrated as his football career but it turns out Roy Keane’s brief boxing innings was a successful one.
The former Manchester United captain boxed as a child in Cork and ‘loved everything about’ his time practicing the ‘sweet science’.
Given his combative and aggressive style as a footballer, it’s no surprise one of Ireland’s greatest footballers was good at it too, well so he says anyway.
When Eddie Hearn was a guest on the Stick to Football podcast, alongside Gary Neville, Jill Scott, Jamie Carragher, Ian Wright and Keane, the Cork man let the promoter know as much, revealing he retired undefeated.
“When I was a kid when I was 11 or 12 years of age just for a few years as you do when you’re back in Ireland to keep out of trouble,” Keane said when asked if he had boxed.
“My brother had about 50 amateur fights but had about four fights. I was unbeaten, you know what I mean. It was great, brilliant when you were younger with training,
“I loved everything about it and the discipline. These lads going into the right to fight and their mindset.”
Keane’s drive and determination made him Katie Taylor’s sporting hero and he revealed he reached out to his fellow Irish great post her 2016 Olympic upset.
“I met Katie once, she came to an Ireland match,” Keane said on the same podcast.
“I spoke to Katie after she got beat in the Olympics [quarter-final in 2016] and I’d just seen an interview where she was really upset.
“I got in touch with her and just said: ‘listen, keep your spirits up’. And that was it. We kept in touch, the odd text here and there.
“But yeah she came to an Ireland match once and I met her. Amazing fighter and she’s certainly doing Ireland proud.”