Top 13 Wild Geese – Fighters of Irish descent

Following the recent expansion of irish-boxing.com, we now plan to give comprehensive coverage to boxers of Irish heritage alongside our unparralleled reportage on Irish-born fighters.

There is now a new section on the site for these ‘Wild Geese,’ and we are always open to giving more coverage to any boxer proud of their Irish roots.

With the addition of this new section in mind, here is a quick run-through (in no particular order) of the Wild Geese making waves around the World.

Tyson Fury
Heavyweight
25(18)-0

Where else to start but with the unified lineal heavyweight champion of the World. Tyson Fury shocked boxing experts last November by comprehensively defeating long-reigning Ukrainian king Wladimir Klitschko. The charismatic, controversial, Gypsy King was born in Manchester to two Irish parents and has fought on these shores four times, winning the Irish title against Martin Rogan in 2012. In addition to this he has also held the English, British, Commonwealth, and European belts, and defends his World crown on July 9th in a rematch versus Klitschko.

Frankie Gavin
Welterweight
22(13)-2(1)

The only man to win World Championships gold for Britain, Gavin was denied a World championship belt in the pro ranks by Kell Brook. Of Dublin and Tipperary parents, the Brummie boxer won the Irish light welterweight title in 2010 against Michael Kelly after just eight fights and would go on to hold the British and Commonwealth straps. Currently serving a ban, Gavin will return to the ring in late July and is targeting belts before the end of the year.

Seanie Monaghan
Light Heavyweight
27(17)-0

The New York bruiser turned professional at 28 with limited amateur background and was initially dismissed as a crude brawler. Despite this lack of experience, the popular ticket-seller improved greatly with each passing fight and has developed a fan-friendly, come-forward style. Promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank, the 34 year old former bricklayer has propelled himself up the rankings of all four major sanctioning bodies (WBC #8, WBA #5, IBF #4, WBO #3) and is knocking on the door of a World title shot.

Miles Shinkwin
Light Heavyweight
13(7)-1(1)

The exciting Hertfordshire light heavyweight has Irish title desires in honour of his late Leeside grandfather. In February the 28 year old lost out on the vacant British title to Hosea Burton in what was the fight of the night on the Frampton-Quigg PPV undercard, but marked himself out a fan-friendly power-puncher and one we hope to see fight in Ireland in the near future.

Logan McGuinness
Super Featherweight
23(10)-0-1

Once highly touted, the 28 year old Canadian has had a nightmarish past three years with injuries, but is now back fit and hungry for big fights. A former holder of continental titles, the Orangesville man loves a brawl. ‘Loco’ Logan is promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and will likely reacquaint himself (he fought here twice in 2008) with Irish fight fans in the near future as he shares cards with Stephen Ormond and Spike O’Sullivan.

Hughie Fury
Heavyweight
20(10)-0

Cousin to Tyson, the skilfull youngster is thought of as the most naturally talented and dedicated of the Fury clan. In his most recent fight, an illness-afflicted Fury cruised to a seven round technical-decision win over the dangerous Fred Kassi. Still only 21, and suffering from a debilitating skin condition, Fury’s energy and power has not yet reached its apex, and the 2012 World Youth champion is to delay his step-up through the ranks as he bids to recover and build his man-strength.

Luke Watkins
Cruiserweight
7(4)-0

Of Wexford stock, hard man Luke Watkins is aiming for the Irish title. A late starter, ‘The Duke’ has learnt on the job and has been matched progressively. The Swindon-based fighter is trained by Clare’s Paddy Fitzpatrick and is already title-eligible, and a clash with Ian Tims is one we’ve been calling for for a while now.

Jimmy Kilrain Kelly
Light Middleweight
17(7)-1(1)

Nicknamed after the famous bareknuckle brawler, the Manchester youngster’s father hails from the borderland of Carlow/Kilkenny. Only 23, Kelly was given a shock shot at Liam Smith’s light middleweight title last December, and by no means disgraced himself in a seven round loss. Currently rebuilding, Kelly will be targetting domestic titles in the near future and perhaps an eventual second chance at a title when he has developed fully.

Joe Smith Jr
Light Heavyweight
21(17)-1(1)

Another New York brawler from Long Island, Joe Smith Jr is a long-time rival of Seanie Monaghan, having beaten him in the 2009 New York Golden Gloves – and an all-action rematch between the pair has been continuously mooted. First however, the 26 year old ‘Irish Bomber’ goes into the lion’s den next weekend when he faces Polish star Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago on a Premier Boxing Champions card.

Ryan Doyle
Featherweight
12(7)-1(1)

The Manchester Dub is a dark horse in the packed featherweight division. Last year ‘Ruthless’ Ryan scored a highly credible draw with the current Commonwealth champ Isaac Lowe in an English title scrap. Next month the 24 year old has a second crack at the English strap against Ian Bailey, the only man to have beaten him as a pro.

Jamie Cox
Super Middleweight
20(12)-0

The Swindon fighter, of Donegal descent, put on a devastating display last year at the National Stadium to defend his WBO European title. A ferocious puncher, the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist has been spoke of as a future World champion and the Frank Warren-promoted destroyer has recently called for a fight with Commonwealth champion Luke Blackledge.

Gary Corcoran
Light Middleweight
15(6)-0

The Wembley boxer has deep Galway roots and was due to headline the cancelled Clash of the Clans card in February. Dubbed ‘The Hellraiser,’ Corcoran brings an exciting attacking style and has put together a streak of impressive wins. THe 25 year old has one eye on current WBO champ and Warren stable-mate Liam Smith, and will next month challenge for the British and Commonwealth titles against Liam Williams in Cardiff.

Kofi Yates
Light Welterweight
13(1)-2(0)

Last seen being edged out by Tom Farrell in a brilliant scrap on the Bellew-Makubu undercard at Goodison Park. The MGM-promoted ‘Casper’ is a gutsy fighter and a gym-mate of Ciaran McVarnock under Arnie Farnell. A regular visitor to these shores, the 24 year old is guaranteed entertainment in every bout he takes on.

Have we missed anyone?

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: [email protected]