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Tyson Fury and the Best Boxers from Galway

Although he was born in England and has set up home there, Tyson Fury comes from a long line of fighting men with their roots in Ireland. The Fury family tree can be traced to Belfast and Galway, both of which have produced some outstanding boxers over the years.

So, ahead of another huge night for the Gypsy King in February, let’s celebrate some of the finest fighters to have emerged from the famous clubs of Galway.

Sean Mannion

Fury will put his WBC gold on the line against Oleksandr Usyk on February 17, hoping to win the Ukrainian’s WBA, WBO and IBF straps and unify the heavyweight division.

The good news for fans of British and Irish boxing is that the Fury vs Usyk betting odds make the 6ft 9in giant an 8/11 favourite, with Usyk priced up at 11/10. Most of the boxing bets placed have been for Fury to win on points – a 13/10 chance with the bookmakers.

The 35-year-old won’t be the only fighter with Galway connections to battle it out for WBA honours. Sean Mannion was a well-respected light middleweight whose professional career spanned more than 15 years – a stint that saw him fight mostly in America after he headed for Boston in the 1970s.

He challenged for the WBA light middleweight gold in October 1984 and took on Mike McCallum over 15 gruelling rounds. It wasn’t to be as the champion got the nod on points, but Mannion remained one of the highest-ranked fighters in the division for years under the tutelage of Angelo Dundee, the one-time trainer of Muhammad Ali.

Francie Barrett

Carrying the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games – not many people can lay claim to having done that. But that’s exactly what Francie Barrett did as a sterling amateur boxer in Atlanta back in 1996, so highly thought of was he in the camp.

Trained by another proud Galway boxing man in Chick Gillen, Barrett experienced disappointment at the Olympics before turning pro, where he racked up an impressive 17 wins in 20 outings.

The southpaw went on to become a British and European light welterweight champion, with a CV that included decent scalps in the shape of Michael Jennings and Tony Sesay.

Kieran Molloy

Who knows what the future holds for Kieran Molloy?

At the age of 25, he’s just starting out on his professional boxing journey, but he already has some eye-catching victories to his name including a wide points victory over Fernando Mosquera on home soil in Galway. This was followed by a destructive second-round TKO of Daniel Sostre on his American debut in Boston, Massachusetts. Essentially, Molloy appears to be retracing the footsteps of Mannion all those years ago.

Observers who witnessed Molloy’s sparring sessions with David Avanesyan – a former WBO interim titleholder who fought Terence Crawford for the top belt in December 2022 – claim the Irishman more than held his own, which suggests that he has a bright future in the welterweight division.

It’s baby steps given that youth is on his side, but maybe Molloy could be another Galway fighter to challenge for world honours one day.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com

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