John McNally (boxer)

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John McNally
John McNally 1952.jpg
McNally at the 1952 Olympics
Personal information
Born3 November 1932 (1932-11-03) (age 86)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

John McNally (born 3 November 1932) is a retired Irish boxer who won a silver medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in the bantamweight division. In the final McNally lost a split decision to Pentti Hämäläinen of Finland.[1]

Early life[edit]

McNally was born and raised in the Pound Loney area of west Belfast and was the first person from Belfast and the first Irish boxer to win an Olympic medal.

In 1953, John McNally won a bronze medal at the European championships,[2] and won the Golden Gloves Championships representing Europe against the USA in Chicago. McNally, within the space of a year, beat three American Golden Gloves champions and was awarded an honorary pair of Golden Gloves in recognition of this achievement. In 1953, he was made the official bantamweight champion of Germany in recognition of his feat of having defeated that country's three former bantamweight champions in the space of a year.

1952 Olympic results[edit]

Below are the results of John McNally, a bantamweight boxer from Ireland, who competed at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics:

  • Rd of 32: bye
  • Rd of 16: defeated Alejandro Ortuose (Philippines) by decision, 3-0
  • Quarterfinal: defeated Vincenzo Dall'osso (Italy) by decision, 3-0
  • Semifinal: defeated Kang Joon-Ho (South Korea) by decision, 3-0
  • Final: lost to Pentti Hamalainen (Finland) by decision, 1-2 (was awarded the silver medal)

Pro career[edit]

In 1954 McNally turned professional but his pro career did not reach the heights of his amateur days. He fought only 25 times and finished with a record of 14 wins, 9 defeats and 2 draws.[3]


On 25 October 2007 John McNally was recognised by the Sports Council of Northern Ireland for his contribution to Irish sport at a gala event held at Stormont in Belfast.

Boxing Hall of Fame[edit]

On 4 January 2008 John McNally was inducted into the Irish Boxing Hall of Fame by RTÉ's Jimmy Magee at an awards night held in the National Stadium in Dublin. A biography of McNally's life and career has been published by Appletree Press.


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "John McNally". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  2. ^ 10.European Championships – Warsaw, Poland – May 18–24 1953.
  3. ^ Professional boxing record for John McNally from BoxRec

External links[edit]