In Showbusiness with Blood: A Golden Age of Irish Boxing, Eamon Carr gives ringside accounts of some of the world’s greatest fighters, from Steve Collins and Mike Tyson to Tyson Fury and Katie Taylor. Boxing, Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, was turbo-charged in the mid-1990s as Irish boxers excelled in the harsh, sometimes tragic, business that is professional boxing. Carr became enamoured of the sport when confined to bed as a child and, as a reporter, was on hand to witness the victories and disasters of his heroes and heroines.
Prize-fighting demands enormous courage each time a boxer steps forward. Surrounded by enthusiastic fans, the ring can be the loneliest place in the world. From the era of The Fancy in the 19th century to today, Ireland has embodied the pugilist tradition, renewed over three recent decades in what has become a golden age of boxing.
Showbusiness with Blood takes the reader on an intimate journey through Irish boxing’s years of triumph and desolation. Carr illuminates the dark corners of the fight game with stories from gruelling training camps, noisy press conferences, behind- the-scenes hustling and the savage brutality of championship fights. This consummate sportswriter records inspirational tales of courage, resilience and personal redemption: boxing’s enduring allure and saving grace.
Eamon Carr is a founding member of the rock band Horslips. A Dublin-based journalist, playwright and art historian, he was a cultural commentator and reporter on news and sport for Independent Newspapers for over two decades. His published works include The Origami Crow, Journey into Japan World Cup Summer 2002 (Seven Towers, 2008), Deirdre Unforgiven: A Journal of Sorrows (Doire Press, 2013) and Foundation Song (Revival Press, 2023). His verse plays include DUSK (2016) and CúChulainn Awakes (2020).
‘In his compelling and beautifully–written book, Eamon Carr does not shy away from the darkness and danger of boxing but, at the same time, he draws us deep into its vivid and mysterious world. It flows with riveting stories of great fighters – an unforgettable addition to the rich history of Irish boxing.’ Donald McRae
Featured boxers include:
|Steve Collins||Michael Carruth|
|Wayne McCullough||Bernard Dunne|
|Darren Sutherland||Seamus McDonagh|
|Willie Casey||Martin Rogan|
|Tyson Fury||Matthew Macklin|
|Jamie Conlan||Katie Taylor|
|Andy Lee||Carl Frampton|
|Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan||Mike Tyson|
|Conor McGregor||John Joe Nevin|
|Michael Conlon||Francis Barrett|