This fascinating sports biography by journalist Rónán Mac Con Iomaire tells the story of one of the greatest boxers ever to come out of Ireland. Raised in Ros Muc in the heart of Connemara, Seán Ó Mainnín’s boxing talents would bring him to the dizzying heights of Madison Square Garden in New York.
In 1984 he fought future Hall of Fame boxer, Mike McCallum for the WBA World Light-Middleweight Title and unfortunately he lost., he never won the championship title his talent demanded despite being trained by Angelo Dundee, the same man who trained Muhammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and others. "I’ve only ever had two fighters that could take any sort of punch thrown at them, Muhammad Ali and Seán, and Seán’s the only guy I’ve ever had that’s never been knocked down,” said Dundee.
Rónán Mac Con Iomaire worked closely with Seán Ó Mainnín to tell the dramatic story of his battles both inside and outside the ring. The book recounts how: Seán trained and sparred with what can only be described as Whitey Bulger’s inner circle of henchmen. He was asked a number of times to get involved in Bulger’s drug-running and extortion schemes but refused. In 1983 Seán became the US Light-Middleweight champion, ahead of Tommy Hearns, Mike McCallum and a host of other boxing greats. In 1986, Seán actually fought and beat the WAA Light-Middleweight World Champion, Bert Lee, but because of a dispute over sanctioning fees, he was not recognised as the World Champion.
Mac Con Iomaire, said of writing the book, “I knew that Seán Ó Mainnín had lived a fascinating life. I didn’t realise just how fascinating until I began the research. When you consider that he won the U.S. middleweight title and fought for the world title at the most competitive time for that weight band in the history of boxing, he has to be counted among Ireland’s greatest boxers.”
Read a sample from the book