The Irish-born WBA Featherweight Champion was a voice of unity during the Troubles, becoming a role model in and out of the ring. As well as media duties he is now a promoter, mentor and manager to a stable of up-and-coming talented fighters. With a wealth of stories and lessons Barry talks about spotting and developing talent.
At the height of his boxing career Barry McGuigan’s fights attracted twenty million TV viewers. Known as ‘The Clones Cyclone,’ his popularity transcended sport. He became a unifying figure amidst Northern Ireland’s sectarian violence; fans chanted “Leave the fighting to McGuigan.”
Early on Barry fought and knocked out Young Ali, who tragically slipped into a coma and later died. This almost led McGuigan to quit the fight game, but he battled against his demons and persevered. He became British, European and WBA World Featherweight Champion - and was duly voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
After hanging up his gloves, Barry found a new passion in motor racing. He also established himself on-screen as a boxing commentator and as winner of the cookery contest Hell’s Kitchen. Behind the camera he was heavily involved in the film The Boxer, training Daniel Day-Lewis and choreographing the fight scenes.
Barry continues to be involved in the media, and in training, promoting and managing young fighters, including some of the best up-and-coming talents in the sport. Barry is also the founding Chairman of the Professional Boxing Association, promoting further education and helping boxers prepare for life beyond the ring. He is an enormously entertaining speaker, sharing anecdotes and offering his own insight into what it takes to reach the top in one of the physically and mentally demanding of sports.
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