Category: Archive

Boxing Roundup: McGuigan gets call to hall

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Also voted into the Hall of Fame, posthumously, was Irish boxing scribe Harry Mullan, the former editor of Boxing News, who died in 1999.
In all, 15 personalities from the fight game’s past and present made it into the Hall. The official induction ceremony will be held in Canastota on June 12.
Dubbed the “Clones Cyclone” in his prime, McGuigan was elated at joining such prizefighting icons as Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali in boxing’s most hallowed pantheon.
“This makes all the hard hours of training, all the work and commitment that one puts into boxing worthwhile,” said the long retired fighter, who was renowned for his stamina, courage and durable chin. Boxing historian Hank Kaplan described McGuigan as “a two-fisted puncher who infatuated his countrymen with his spirited and gutsy style.”
McGuigan was among four boxers from a group of 45 chosen by a panel of boxing writers and historians as representatives of the sport’s modern era, which the IBHFM dates from 1943.
Bobby Chacon, a two-time featherweight titlist; ex-light middleweight champion Terry Norris, and Italian Duilio Loi, who was twice junior welterweight champion, are the other inductees.
Voting in the Modern category was done by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America (including this writer) and selected non-members of the association chosen by the IBHFM board of directors.
Born Finbar Patrick McGuigan on Feb. 28, 1961, in Clones, McGuigan turned pro in 1981, having won a gold medal at the 1980 Commonwealth Games.
He captured both British and European featherweight titles in 1983 and went on to lift the World Boxing Association 126-pound crown off Panamanian Eusebio Pedroza in front of 27,000 fans at Loftus Road in London on June 8, 1985.
Two successful defenses, both via knockout, followed before McGuigan put the championship on the line against Steve Cruz in Las Vegas on June 23, 1986.
With temperatures topping 125 degrees in a makeshift arena set up in a parking lot at Caesars Palace, McGuigan and Cruz brawled for 15 rounds in what Ring Magazine would name Fight of the Year. The heat, however, took its toll on the little Irishman, who lost a close fight and ended up in hospital, dehydrated and delirious.
A bitter split with manager Barney Eastwood followed and nearly two years lapsed before McGuigan returned to the ring.
McGuigan, who is now a TV boxing analyst, retired at age 28 in 1989, after a fourth-round TKO loss to Jim McDonnell in Manchester. His record was 32-3 (28 KOs).
Harry Mullan, meanwhile, was one of six people chosen to enter the Hall of Fame in the non-participant and observer classes. Other inductees include Mike Tyson’s late former manager Bill Cayton and Bert Sugar, the fedora-wearing fight historian-author.
Mullan was born in Port Stewart in 1946 and served as editor of the British-published Boxing News, the world’s oldest boxing magazine, for 20 years before he died of cancer in May 1999. He authored several books and was a frequent radio and television commentator.

Light heavyweight Don O’Regan suffered a second-round TKO at the hands of three-time world junior champion Alan Lawrence in the final of the New York Amateur Boxing Championships in Smithtown, L.I., last Friday.
The 17-year-old Lawrence, who’s also won five national titles, ended O’Regan’s spirited challenge for the vacant State 178-pound crown with a jarring right and left combination late in the round.
The second punch put the Limerick-born carpenter, a New York Daily News Golden Gloves quarterfinalist last year, down on one knee.
“We were standing toe-to-toe [exchanging punches]; he landed a right hand and a left hook and I went down,” said O’Regan, who was invited to fight Lawrence in the final.
“When I got up, I raised my hands to indicate that I was OK. But the referee stopped it saying I was not responding to his commands.”
His protestation aside, O’Regan, who’s 29, admitted that he was way over his head against the gifted New Jersey teenager, a veteran of over 200 bouts, most of which he’s won by knockout.
“I was warned not to fight Lawrence and told that I’d get knocked out. But I took the chance,” the Yonkers resident said.
“He’s the hottest prospect in boxing. He came in with 10 different belts for the titles he’s won. The only belt I had was on my jeans.”
O’Regan’s participation in the State Championships was part of his preparation for the 2005 Golden Gloves, which start later this month.
“My trainer [Edwin Martinez] told me that even in the Gloves, I won’t meet anyone of Lawrence’s pedigree,” he said.
O’Regan will compete in the 178-pound open division. He reached the last eight in the 165-pound novice class last year.

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