||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)|
|Real name||Finbar Patrick McGuigan|
|Nickname(s)||The Clones Cyclone|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
28 February 1961 |
Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland
|Wins by KO||28|
Finbar Patrick McGuigan MBE (born 28 February 1961), known as Barry McGuigan and nicknamed The Clones Cyclone, is a retired professional boxer from Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland who became a World Boxing Association featherweight champion. Barry was a fan favourite for British and Irish audiences, as he represented neutrality and peace in a time when Northern Ireland (which he resided in) was divided as part of The Troubles. He founded, and is the current President of, the Professional Boxing Association (PBA).
Barry McGuigan was born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland. His father was singer Pat McGuigan (died 1987). He represented Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games at Edmonton 1978 and represented Ireland at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Pat McGuigan sang "Danny Boy" before several of his son's matches. This fact inspired the Hacienda Brothers' song "If Daddy Don't Sing Danny Boy", written by boxer and musician Chris Gaffney.
During his career, McGuigan fought at a number of venues in Ireland and Britain. He attracted an enormous following in the mid-1980s, particularly to the King's Hall in Belfast which he normally filled to capacity. McGuigan is a Roman Catholic, and at a time when Roman Catholics and Protestants were clashing during The Troubles, he married a Protestant, Sandra and they remain married after some three decades.
McGuigan stated that the support he received from both Protestants and Catholics in Ireland was because:
"[the] shadows ran deep. And my fights felt a little like sunshine. Both sides would say: 'Leave the fighting to McGuigan.' You see, it was also entertainment – people loved to forget the Troubles a while. The fact that I wouldn't wear green, white and gold or put on a sign that said this is who I represent was powerful. It was a very mature and dangerous thing to do. I wouldn't choose sides. People appreciated that."
As a non-sectarian sporting ambassador for Northern Ireland, he drew on the experience of George Best and would later be emulated by Eddie Irvine. He and his wife are both active patrons for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
McGuigan started his juvenile boxing career at the Wattlebridge Amateur Boxing Club, County Fermanagh and later moved to the Smithborough Amateur Boxing Club, County Monaghan. Under the guidance of trainers Danny McEntee and Frank Mulligan he rapidly established himself as an exceptional boxer. He won the All Ireland Amateur Championship in 1976 having defeated Martin Brereton. Notable opponents during his teenage years included Dubliner James Coughlan, whom he defeated at the age of 15 as well as Gordon McNeil (of Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne) and Eric Clarke (of Hackney, London).
He started his professional boxing career on 10 May 1981, beating Selwyn Bell by knockout in two rounds in Dublin. After another win, he suffered his first setback, losing a hotly disputed decision to Peter Eubanks (brother of Chris Eubank) over eight rounds at Wembley. After his first loss, McGuigan notched up two more wins, including one over Terry Pizzarro, and then he was given a rematch with Eubanks. The second time around, McGuigan prevailed, by a knockout in the eighth round.
In 1982, McGuigan won eight fights, seven by knockout. One of these, however, almost destroyed his career and his life. Opposed by Young Ali, on 14 June 1982, McGuigan won by a knockout in six rounds; Ali fell into a coma from which he never recovered. According to the book The Ring: Boxing The 20th Century, this affected McGuigan so much he was not sure he wanted to carry on as a boxer. He also defeated Paul Huggins and Angelo Licata during this period. In 1983, he won four fights, winning the British Title against Vernon Penprase, and including his first trip to fight outside Europe (when he beat Samuel Meck by a knockout in six in Ontario, Canada), before getting his first try at a European title.
On 16 November, Italy's Valerio Nati defended his European Featherweight belt versus McGuigan in Belfast, and McGuigan won the crown with a knockout in the sixth round. He then became the number one Featherweight challenger in the World Boxing Association. In 1984, he won six bouts, all by knockout. Among the fighters he beat were former world title challengers Jose Caba and Felipe Orozco. He also beat contenders Paul DeVorce and Charm Chiteule and retained his British and European titles against Clyde Ruan and the latter belt against Esteban Eguia to keep his chance at a World Championship attempt alive.
In 1985, McGuigan met former world featherweight champion Juan Laporte and won by a decision after ten rounds. Following one more win (a defence of his European Title against Farid Gallouze), he finally got his world title try when the long reigning WBA featherweight champion, Eusebio Pedroza of Panama, came to London to put his title on the line at Loftus Road football stadium. McGuigan became the champion by dropping Pedroza in round seven and winning a unanimous fifteen-round decision in a fight refereed by hall of fame referee Stanley Christodoulou. McGuigan and his wife were feted in a public reception through the streets of Belfast that attracted several hundred thousand spectators. Later that year, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, becoming the first person not born in the United Kingdom to win the award.
McGuigan made his first defence against American Bernard Taylor, who was stopped in the ninth round, and then against Danilo Cabrera, who got knocked out in fourteen rounds. This proved to be a controversial stoppage: the fight was stopped after the challenger bent over to pick up his mouthpiece after losing it, a practice that is allowed in many countries but not in Ireland. Cabrera was not aware of this, and the fight was stopped. Although Cabrera's corner protested the outcome, McGuigan remained the winner by a knockout. For his next defence, he went to Las Vegas in June 1986, where he faced the relatively unknown Stevie Cruz from Texas in what proved a gruelling fifteen-round title bout under a blazing sun. McGuigan held a lead halfway through, but suffered dehydration because of the extreme heat and wilted near the end, being dropped in rounds ten and fifteen. He eventually lost a close decision and his world belt, which he was never to reclaim. After the fight, McGuigan required hospitalisation because of his dehydrated state.
After that fight he retired, partly due to the death of his father in 1987. He used to say his father was his greatest inspiration and, after his death, apparently felt no reason to continue boxing. However, he returned to the ring between 1988 and 1989, beating former world title challengers Nicky Perez and Francisco Tomas da Cruz, as well as contender Julio Cesar Miranda, before losing to former EBU featherweight champ and future WBC and WBA super featherweight challenger Jim McDonnell by a technical knockout when a McDonnell left hook opened gash over McGuigan's right eye in 2nd round that caused the referee to stop the fight in the 4th. He retired permanently from boxing. His record was 32 wins and 3 losses, with 28 wins by knockout. In January 2005, McGuigan was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Professional boxing record
|32 Wins (28 KOs), 3 Losses|
|Loss||32–3||Jim McDonnell||TKO||4 (10)||1989-05-21||G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester||Stopped on cuts|
|Win||32–2||Julio Cesar Miranda||TKO||8 (10)||1988-12-01||Pickett's Lock Stadium, Edmonton, London|
|Win||31–2||Francisco Tomas Da Cruz||TKO||4 (10)||1988-06-25||Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire|
|Win||30–2||Nicky Perez||KO||4 (10)||1988-04-20||Alexandra Pavilion, London|
|Loss||29–2||Steve Cruz||UD||15 (15)||1986-06-23||Caesar's Palace, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas||Lost WBA World featherweight Title, McGuigan down twice in the 15th, won Fight of The Year|
|Win||29–1||Danilo Cabrera||TKO||14 (15)||1986-02-15||The Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland||Defended WBA World Featherweight Title.|
|Win||28–1||Bernard Taylor||TKO||8 (15)||1985-09-28||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Defended WBA World Featherweight Title.|
|Win||27–1||Eusebio Pedroza||UD||15 (15)||1985-06-08||Loftus Road Stadium, Shepherd's Bush, London||Won WBA World Featherweight Title, 26,000 in attendance|
|Win||26–1||Farid Gallouze||TKO||2 (12)||1985-03-26||The Arena, Wembley, London||Defended EBU (European) Featherweight Title.|
|Win||25–1||Juan Laporte||PTS||10 (10)||1985-02-23||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||24–1||Clyde Ruan||KO||4 (12)||1984-12-19||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Defended EBU (European) and BBBofC British Featherweight Titles.|
|Win||23–1||Felipe Orozco||KO||2 (10)||1984-10-13||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||22–1||Paul DeVorce||TKO||5 (10)||1984-06-30||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||21–1||Esteban Eguia||TKO||3 (12)||1984-06-05||Royal Albert Hall, kensington, London||Defended EBU (European) Featherweight Title.|
|Win||20–1||Jose Caba||TKO||7 (10)||1984-04-04||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||19–1||Charm Chiteule||TKO||10 (10)||1984-01-25||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||18–1||Valerio Nati||KO||6 (12)||1983-11-16||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Won EBU (European) Featherweight Title.|
|Win||17–1||Ruben Dario Herasme||KO||2 (10)||1983-10-05||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||16–1||Lavon McGowan||KO||1 (10)||1983-07-09||DiVinci Manoe, Chicago, Illinois|
|Win||15–1||Samuel Meck||RTD||6 (10)||1983-05-22||Navan Exhibition Centre, Navan, Ireland|
|Win||14–1||Vernon Penprase||TKO||2 (12)||1983-04-12||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Won BBBofC British Featherweight Title.|
|Win||13–1||Paul Huggins||TKO||5 (12)||1982-11-09||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||12–1||Jimmy Duncan||RTD||4 (10)||1982-10-05||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||11–1||Young Ali||KO||6 (8)||1982-05-14||World Sporting Club, Mayfair, London||Young Ali died after 5 months in a coma|
|Win||10–1||Gary Lucas||KO||1 (8)||1982-04-22||Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland|
|Win||9–1||Angelo Licata||TKO||2 (8)||1982-03-23||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||8–1||Angel Oliver||TKO||3 (8)||1982-02-23||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||7–1||Ian Murray||TKO||3 (8)||1982-02-08||World Sporting Club, Mayfair, London|
|Win||6–1||Jose Luis De La Sagra||PTS||8 (8)||1982-01-27||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||5–1||Peter Eubank||TKO||8 (8)||1981-12-08||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||4–1||Terry Pizzaro||TKO||4 (8)||1981-10-26||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Win||3–1||Jean-Marc Renard||PTS||8 (8)||1981-09-22||Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Loss||2–1||Peter Eubank||PTS||8 (8)||1981-08-03||Corn Exchange, Brighton, Sussex|
|Win||2–0||Gary Lucas||TKO||4 (6)||1981-06-20||Empire Pool, Wembley, London|
|Win||1–0||Selvin Bell||TKO||2 (6)||1981-05-10||Dalymount Park, Dublin, Ireland||Professional debut|
McGuigan attempted to establish an association to protect the rights of boxers against what he, and others, considered omnipotent managers and promoters. In this regard, he had had a difficult time during his own career. A very close relationship with his manager deteriorated badly over time and led to a successful libel case against him by his former manager several years later. In the 1980s he was a chat show host on BBC1.
McGuigan currently lives near Whitstable, Kent with his wife and children. He currently works as a boxing pundit for Sky TV. He has tried his hand at acting, appearing in the movie Malicious Intent in 2000. He also served as referee on the UK television game show Grudge Match, hosted by Nick Weir.
He is the Chairman of the Professional Boxing Association, an organisation he has wanted to set up for over a decade, with the intention of teaching boxers the importance of education, and indeed educating them.
McGuigan was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. He also fought in Ring Magazine's 1986 Fight of the Year, and was a title character in the 8-bit computer game, Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing. In 1985 he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
He was honoured in an Irish ballad song released in 1984, "Clones Cyclone", written by Johnny McCauley and sung by Big Tom. The popular German musician and composer Udo Lindenberg also dedicated his song "Jonny Boxer" to McGuigan in 1986. The Bournemouth-based band The Worry Dolls named a track "Barry McGuigan" on their album, The Man That Time Forgot.
- "Barry McGuigan profile". 7 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- Hacienda, The. "NPR interviewwith Chris Gaffney". Npr.org. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- From direct interviews on Mrs and Mrs for ITV2, 22 June 2010.
- McRae, Donald (4 June 2011). "Barry McGuigan's past compels him to make Carl Frampton the future". The Guardian.
- Trickett, Alex (25 October 2005). "Boxing by the weights". BBC News. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Holden, Kit (8 November 2008). "Boxing: Calzaghe's last stand". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "BBC Sports Personality". virginmedia.com. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
- Barry McGuigan's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- "Celebrity Diary: Barry McGuigan". Evening Herald. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Big Tom sings "Clones Cyclone"". Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- The Man That Time Forgot, amazon.com; accessed 8 May 2014.
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