Magee in the corner of Jim Rock, 2008
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
13 July 1971 |
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Wins by KO||20|
Eamonn Magee (born 13 July 1971) is a Northern Irish former professional boxer who competed from 1995 to 2007. He held the Commonwealth light-welterweight title twice, and challenged for the European light-welterweight and British welterweight titles. As an amateur, Magee won a bronze medal in the welterweight division at the 1992 World Junior Championships.
He was a veteran of the Irish and European professional fight scenes and fought out of the Breen Gym in Belfast, where he now works as an assistant trainer to John Breen.
Magee grew up in the Ardoyne area of Belfast and was in and out of trouble as a youth. Magee came from a boxing obsessed family, at the age of twelve, Magee's mother enrolled a him in the local boxing club. Magee stated that for his mother "boxing was as important as school". Magee's three older brothers were also boxers with two of them, Terry and Noel, having careers as professional boxers. His brother Noel was also a Commonwealth title champion.
In 1989, Magee was involved in a fight outside a restaurant and sustained a deep wound to his neck from which he almost died. In 1992, he was shot in the leg by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in a punishment attack. In 1994, Magee (who is a supporter of Celtic football club) was charged with affray after getting into a barroom brawl with a group of Rangers fans in a Belfast City Centre pub. In February 2004, Magee was attacked in the Blacks Road area of Belfast. He was pulled from his car and beaten with a baseball bat, he had his leg broken and knee fractured.
In June 2010 Magee was jailed for 12 months for an assault on his ex-partner. He was given the maximum sentence for the offence, but was released on bail pending an appeal.
In December 2010 Magee, who is facing charges of breaching a non-molestation order and harassing his ex-partner Maria Magill was arrested and brought back into custody after failing to sign with police on 28 December. During the court hearing it was reported that Magee is sometimes forced to "lock himself away from the world" due to mental health problems, depression and anxiety which he has suffered from for a long time. The judge, Mr Justice Weatherup, ruled that Magee could be released again on bail after pointing out that no known attempt had been made to contact Ms Magill.
The southpaw boxed for Ireland as an amateur and, like his brother Noel, won a number of Irish national titles and won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships at San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1989. In 1991, Magee won the Irish National Senior light welterweight title.
Barcelona Olympics nomination controversy
Because of his Irish title win, Magee should have automatically been nominated as the Irish entrant for the qualification tournament for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics however, a number of members from the Ulster Boxing Council abstained from voting for his nomination and this led to the Irish (IABA) selection team requesting that Magee fight a preliminary fight against Corkman Billy Walsh, a boxer whom he had already beaten to win the Irish title. In protest, Magee then turned down the chance to box off for the place at the Barcelona Olympics as he felt he was the automatic choice.
A disillusioned Magee's outlook on boxing was soured by this experience and he then took a sabbatical from the sport.
Magee turned professional in November 1995, winning his first fight at the Point Depot, in which he knocked out Hull based Liverpudlian Pete Roberts on a card that included Steve Collins and a debut fight for Dubliner Jim Rock.
Magee's first twelve fights took place in a variety of locations such as the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, US and England and against a variety of opposition including journeymen such as Steve McGovern, Kevin McKillan and Karl Taylor as well as future NABF Welter and Light Middleweight title holder Teddy Reid. The Reid fight which took place at The Roxy, Boston, USA, was Magee's only loss on his early record which tallied to 11 win, 9 within the distance and 1 loss.
Paul Burke Commonwealth title fights
Magee's chance to fight for his first title belt took place on 30 November 1998 when he challenged experienced Preston based fighter Paul Burke for his Commonwealth Light Welterweight Title in Manchester, England on the Mayhem in Manchester bill which included Howard Eastman, Steve Foster and Clinton Woods.
Before the fight Magee had stated that Burke was "old, slow journeyman. Paul is the sort who hangs in and takes far more punishment than he should. I'll do him a favour and get it over fast".
The fight went the twelve round distance and Burke beat Magee on a controversial points decision. Magee thought he had been let down badly by the British officials on the night and Chris Eubank also made his protest known. A journalist who was at ringside stated that it was one of the "most shocking decisions in British boxing history".
Within twelve months Magee had won two fights both by third round stoppages including winning the Irish Light Welterweight Title both the arranged rematch with Burke which was set for 12 September 1999 at the York Hall, Bethnal Green in London again for the Commonwealth Light Welterweight Title.
Magee's mind was on revenge and he floored the champion three times in the sixth round before star rated referee Dave Parris stopped the fight with Burke in no condition to continue.
Magee's sights were then set on a fight with Manchester's Ricky Hatton and continued his winning streak with a further ten straight wins, seven inside the distance, including wins over Kenya's Joseph Miyumo, Shea Neary and Jonathan Thaxton to line up a super-fight with Hatton.
Magee's highest profile fight was against Ricky Hatton for the WBU Light Welterweight Title which took place at the Manchester Evening News Arena on 1 June 2002 and was billed as "Anarchy in the UK" and was a 20,000 ticket sell out.
The fight was one of the most eagerly awaited fights in European boxing for many years and there had been doubts that the fight would ever take place due to the MEN being booked and then an injury to Hatton's knuckle. Also Magee had trouble leading up to the fight when the Panamanian sparring partners that Magee had paid for were deported from Ireland after they arrived at Dublin Airport
In what Hatton's trainer Billy Graham called Hatton's toughest fight, Magee knocked Hatton down for the first time in his career after only one minute of the fight in round one. Magee again pressurised Hatton in the second round and again Hatton looked shakey and in trouble. However, Hatton battled back keeping Magee on the ropes for much of the remainder of the fight. Magee eventually lost this keenly contested fight on points over 12 rounds.
- Professional boxing record for Eamonn Magee from BoxRec. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- The Observer (4 July 2004). "Streetfighting man". Sports Monthly (London). Retrieved 4 July 2004.
- British Boxing News
- "Magee says career is over". BBC News. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2004.
- "Former boxer jailed for assault". BBC News. 15 February 2010.
- RTÉ News: Magee receives six-month sentence
- "Boxer Magee is jailed for assault". BBC News. 23 June 2010.
- "Bail breach 'caused by ex-boxer's depression'". Belfast Telegraph. 1 January 2011.
- IABA. "World Junior Championships". IABA. Archived from the original on 5 September 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2006.
- "Biography of Eamonn Magee". Showtime. Retrieved 13 October 2006.
- Cormac Campbell. "Eamonn Magee/John Breen Interview". IrishBoxing.com. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- ""Eamonn Magee: "How can a twenty three-year-old kid hurt me?""". Irishboxing.com. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
- Bill Clark (29 November 1998). "Too Old, Slow And Easily Punished". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- Alex McGreey. "Magee's trainer: Hatton's fought no one". IrishBoxing.com. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- "Magee furious over referee". BBC News. 29 May 2002. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- Alex McGreevy. "Magee's revenge is sweet". The Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- "Hatton sets Magee date". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- Bill Clark (19 May 2002). "MAGEE'S PLANNING TO TAKE THE RICKY". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
- "Magee clash put on hold". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- "Hatton is on the warpath". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- "Home alone Hatton ready to rumble". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- "Ricky grinds out win number 29". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- Ian McNeilly. "Eamonn Magee retires". British Boxing News. Retrieved 3 May 2004.