An Evening With Barry McGuigan
at Irish Centre Birmingham
If, like me, you had the good fortune of being able to watch Barry McGuigan’s career unfold anytime from let’s say 1983 when he won the British Featherweight Title in Belfast with a classy 2nd round stoppage of the much fancied (at the time) Vernon Penprase – through to his final professional bout in 1989…well there are two things I think we’ll likely agree on.
Number one, you’ll know it.
MEANING – You’ll know that McGuigan brought something very special to the world of boxing both inside and out of the ring and that, as fortune has it, you were there to see it and feel it. (If you, like me happen to live in the Midlands we should probably thank the Heavens for Harry Carpenter’s ‘Sporstnight.’ at this point too).
And Number two, after watching his many great bouts, and let’s say we start again from the same point in 83 when he devastated Vernon Penprase with a punching power and accuracy that if you hadn’t seen you’d soon hear about, and include fights like the EBU European Featherweight Title Fight against Valerio Anti in 83, the Title Fight against Esteban Eguia in 84, his first and only Title Fight at Wembley Arena against Farid Gallouze, and the list goes on;
you’ll definitely feel like you absolutely know why McGuigan earned the awesome moniker ‘The Clones Cyclone.’
I was so glad I was there to hear Barry McGuigan speak to his guests at the Irish Centre Birmingham.
In the space of just a few evening hours the things he spoke about made me laugh one minute and feel like crying the next. On top of that he was able to remind me through the recount of his experiences – with his honesty, humour and wit and through his many deeply interesting stories – including both the tragic ones and the humorous ones – that no matter how much I think I know about boxing, boxers themselves are always going to know so much more.
Barry McGuigan is a real class act. And I’m not saying that because I’ve just recently joined the MBC team and the great man unwittingly signed a pic for me that I’ve been able to use to squeeze some extra working time perks outta my new boss. I’m not.
But even if I was, he’s still class.