Raised in Ros Muc in the heart of Connemara, Ireland, 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 lost. He descended into a deep depression after the fight and despite further opportunities and being coached by Muhammed Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, he never won the championship title his talent demanded. 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 has 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.”
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