Despite its small population Ireland has produced many successful boxers. In this article we take a look at the top 5 best Irish boxers in history!
- Eamonn Loughran makes it on our list of top 5 best Irish boxers in history. In 1987 he represented Ireland and was awarded silver in the World Junior Boxing Championships. The same year Loughran turned a professional boxer and began his winning streak. After defeating Lorenzo Smith he became the WBO World Welterweight Champion and defended his title an impressive 5 times.
- Freddie Gilroy from Belfast also makes it onto our list of historic boxers and was always a favourite when it came to betting on boxing. He turned his boxing career professional after winning a gold medal for Ireland at the 1956’s Olympics. Despite only boxing professionally for 5 years, Gilroy won a significant amount of awards including Commonwealth, British and European titles. Those of you that remember Gilroy’s fight against John Caldwell will probably agree that it was one of Ireland’s greatest fights!
- A definite favourite of the bookies when it came to boxing betting was Tom Sharkey. He was known for his particularly aggressive-brawling style that led him to a world championship. Sharkey was born in Dundalk, Ireland and found himself working as a cabin boy before starting out his career as a professional boxer. In 2003 he was recognised into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, confirming his place as one of the best Irish boxers in history!
- Barry McGuigan also made it into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. McGuigan is often referred to as the ‘Clones Cyclone’. He began his professional boxing career in 1981 after representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games and the Summer Olympics in 1978 and 1980, respectively. In 1985 he had his first world title shot against Eusebio Pedroza who he successfully defeated to be crowned WBA World Featherweight Champion. McGuigan retired shortly after his father passed away, stating that he had lost some motivation for the sport since his father’s death.
- Perhaps one of the best legends in the history of Irish boxing is Dublin native Steve Collins, AKA ‘The Celtic Warrior’. Collins enjoyed a highly successful boxing career as an amateur and professional, making him every bettor’s choice when it came to boxing betting. During his early years he won 26 Irish titles. He spent the majority of his professional boxing career in the USA. Collins was denied the world title in 1990 against Mike McCallum but went on to eventually win after two matches against Chris Eubank. Despite winning the first fight against Eubank, his opponent complained that he had ‘legally cheated’ due to visiting a sports psychologist. Given this Collins gave him a rematch, which he again won, earning him the world title. The Irish boxer retired early than planned following serious head injuries.
So there you have it, our list of talented, top Irish boxers in the history of the sport!