The legendary Irish boxer and former World Featherweight champion tells his story
On a hot summer's night, in June 1985, in one of the most emotionally charged fights of all time, Barry McGuigan beat Eusebio Pedroza to become the featherweight champion of the world. An epic battle that lasted a full 15 rounds, it remains one of sport's greatest moments - watched by 27,000 spectators ringside and by a further 20 million on television around the world.
Raised in the border town of Clones, Co. Monaghan, at the height of the troubles, Barry McGuigan united people across sectarian and religious divides during a difficult time in the country's political history. A Catholic, Barry married his Protestant childhood sweetheart, Sandra in 1981. An Irishman, he fought for the British title, wearing boxing shorts in the colours of the United Nation's Flag of Peace - and in place of a national anthem his musician father, Pat McGuigan would often sing a heartfelt rendition of 'Danny Boy' before a fight.
Engaging and intelligent, McGuigan is a renowned and revered figure in the boxing world and beyond. In this candid autobiography, The Clones Cyclone shares his stories of extraordinary professional triumph and devastating personal tragedy.
“Barry McGuigan was one of the best fighters of his generation, he had fanatical support. Barry's a great ambassador for the sport of boxing”
Sugar Ray Leonard
“At a dark hour in Ireland, Barry McGuigan's spirit shone a light towards peace. Barry's not only a champion, he's a hero”
“McGuigan has experienced a fighting life as profound as it is grave ... I have not often been lost for words when sitting so close to a boxer whose enduring success and happiness is etched with tragedy ... compelling”
Donald McRae, The Guardian
“A real twister of a tale ... frank and moving”
“Britain has never produced a more lucid exponent of the dark trade than the charismatic Irishman who made hearts soar and voices sing when he won the world title on an unforgettable night at Loftus Road 26 years ago ... A measured reflection of the life and times of a man who, like his own hero Muhammad Ali, has transcended his sport through who he was and what he did out of the ring”
“The world champion who took a dangerous and inspiring stand for peace during the worst of the Troubles is reminding athletes everywhere what it really means to be a sporting role model ... McGuigan's autobiography is an account of courage and determination which transcends boxing”
“Just as music and musicians define the times in which we live; just as they give pure expression to significant moments in our individual lives, so too do the great athletes and their fortunes. In victory and in defeat, it requires something more than physical gifts and strength of will, it is a spiritual quality that connects them to us, their followers, and binds those followers to each other. Barry was one such as this; modest and compassionate in victory, courageous almost to his own destruction in defeat. His path led him always forwards and upwards and he carried us with him. The dove on his shorts was a symbol of the man, an exquisite paradox; the warrior and the peacemaker. He was an unlikely figure in the modern era when the mania of self-promotion has all but obliterated the dignity of sportsmanship in these islands, the McGuigan years are years we remember.”