John McNally (boxer)


John McNally (boxer)

John McNally (born November 3, 1932 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a former boxer. McNally is most noted for winning a silver medal for Ireland at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki in the Bantamweight division. In the final McNally lost a split decision to Pentti Hämäläinen of Finland.

Early life

McNally was born and raised in the Pound Loney area of west Belfast and was the first person from Belfast and the first Irish boxer to win an Olympic medal. Notably, McNally was the first person from the state of Northern Ireland - established in 1921 - to win a medal at an Olympic Games. However, for whatever reason, his achievement was never recognised at an official level.A campaign is ongoing to have John McNally's historic achievement recognised in his home city of Belfast.

In 1953, John McNally won a bronze medal in the European Amateur Boxing Championships held in Warsaw, and won the Golden Gloves Championships representing Europe against the USA in Chicago. In fact, McNally, within the space of a year, beat three American Golden Gloves champions and was awarded an honorary pair of Golden Gloves in recognition of this achievement. In 1953, he was made the official bantamweight champion of Germany in recognition of his feat of having defeated that country's three former bantamweight champions in the space of a year.

Olympic results

*1st round bye
*Defeated Alejandro Ortuoste (Philippines) 3-0
*Defeated Vincenzo Dall'Osso (Italy) 3-0
*Defeated Kang Joon-Ho (South Korea) 3-0
*Lost to Pentti Hämäläinen (Finland) 1-2

Pro career

In 1954 McNally turned professional but his pro career did not reach the heights of his amateur days. He fought only 25 times and finished with a record of 14 wins, 9 defeats and 2 draws.

Honours

On 25th October 2007 John McNally was recognised by the Sports Council of Northern Ireland for his contribution to Irish sport at a gala event held at Stormont in Belfast. The event saw the launch of the book 'Legends of Irish Boxing - Stories Seldom Told' by the Belfast author Barry Flynn.

Boxing Hall of Fame

On 4th January 2008 John McNally was inducted into the Irish Boxing Hall of Fame by RTÉ's Jimmy Magee at an awards night held in the National Stadium in Dublin. A biography of McNally's life and career is due to be published by Appletree Press in September 2008.

ee also

*Boxing at the 1952 Summer Olympics

External links

*


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