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Biofile Barry McGuigan Interview

By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Former WBA Featherweight Champion, June 1985 – June 1986.  Ring record was 32-3 28 KOs.
DOB: Feb. 26, 1961  In: Monoghan, Ulster, Ireland
Childhood Heroes: “Muhammad Ali. Roberto Duran was, in my opinion, the greatest fighter of all. Just so focused. Terrific head movement. Most talented boxer I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to say I trained with him. He’s a great guy, enjoys life. How he was able to stay on top so long was incredible. He transcended the sport, brought new fans. I told Duran I called my dog after him. I’m glad he took it as a compliment [smiles]. Or else he’d have punched me!”
Nicknames: The Clones Cyclone, Barry (“An abbreviation for ‘Finbar,’ the Celtic spearman.”)
Hobbies/Interests: “Workout, lift weights, run four times a week, reading, four-wheel drive, bikes, riding with my kids.”
Favorite Movies: “The Quiet Man, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Musical Tastes: “R&B, old Soul, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Aaron Neville.”
Early Boxing Memory: “I remember knocking a guy out when I was 16. I was circling right…the most beautiful right hand I ever threw. Knocked him spark out for three minutes. His name was Jerry Mitchell. We became good friends. We’re still great friends, he’s a social worker today.”
First Job: “Worked for my mother, grocery business. My father was a professional ballad singer.”
Pre-Fight Feeling: “Nervous. Apprehension. Fear of losing. Not fear of being hurt. I always had a ‘good as your last fight syndrome’ in fights. If I felt too relaxed, there was something wrong with me.”
Pre-Fight Meal: “Shredded steak, potatoes, Irish stew, water, Gatorade. I used to come down from 145. I fought at 130-131.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Of course, winning the WBA Featherweight championship in London (W15 over Eusebio Pedroza in 1985). When they announced me as the winner. Pedroza had had 20 successful defenses. When I was doing the interview with BBC’s Harry Carpenter, the realization set in.”
Most Painful Moment: “Losing the title to Steve Cruz (L15 in 120-degree heat on a summer Las Vegas afternoon).”
Hardest Punchers: “Juan LaPorte, Paul Devorce, Jose Caba, Charm Chiteule.”
Toughest Opponents: “I was never scared of fighting anyone. But the opponents who had me most concerned were LaPorte, Pedroza and Bernard Taylor.”
Favorite Meal: “Italian food, spaghetti, carbonara, pesto sauce, garlic bread, with mineral water and lime juice.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “All Bran, very good for the roughage.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Strawberry.”
Favorite Boxers To Watch: “I like fancy fighters, attacking fighters. I respect boxers who’ve got good movement, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, James Toney, Kostya Tszyu, Wayne McCullough, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis. I like Lennox a lot. He’s very intelligent, is a really level-headed guy. Very sharp. He has always had good people around him. He loves boxing.”
Favorite Fights: “Duran-Leonard I, Holmes-Norton, Ali-Frazier I, Whitaker-Chavez, Pryor-Arguello I & II.”
Funniest Boxers: “Chris Eubank – he was very enigmatic. Lennox Lewis. Nigel Benn.”
Interesting Facts: “My reach was four inches longer than my height. And I’ve never taken a drink in my life. Teetotaler.”
Family: Wife, Sandra; sons, Blaine, Shane, Jake (“After LaMotta.”), daughter, Danika.

About Scoop Malinowski

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