The Incredible Career of Peter McDonagh

Peter McDonagh is one of the most underappreciated talents of the last decade in professional boxing. Over the course of 55 bouts; 14 years & some 369 rounds the ‘Connemara Kid’ has only ever been stopped twice – the remainder of his record – against frankly an unusually high concentration of high quality opposition.

McDonagh made his professional debut on Sunday 28 April 2002 – just 7 months after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York & Washington; Anthony Joshua was just 12 years old & the Sugababes were #1 in the charts with the infinitely forgettable Freak Like Me. His career has taken him to the United Kingdom; back to his native Ireland; to Italy; Canada & France. That debut came on a Eugene Maloney card at the Elephant & Castle Centre & the likeable Irishman would; incredibly; go on to fight on Frank Warren; Barry Hearn; Joey Pyle; Bruce Baker; Dennis Hobson; Mark Roe; Brian Peters; Mario Loreni; Jonathan Feld; John Merton; Mick Hennessy; Salvatore Cherchi; Jim Gentle; Gary Freedman; Tyler Buxton; Don MacDonald; Adam Booth; David Coldwell;  Giovanni Boggia; Christian Cherchi; Spencer Fearon; Andy Ayling;  Frank Maloney; Steve Wood; Micky Hughes; Mark Burford; Tommy Owens & Matthew Macklin promoted cards. That’s a grand total of 29 promoters over the course of his 55 fight career to date.

Peter McDonagh
Peter McDonagh

What marks Peter’s career out is the huge proportion of notable talents he has faced & competed with – World champions Alex Arthur & (WBU) Michael Gomez; World title challengers in Frankie Gavin & Michele Di Rocco; Commonwealth champion Bradley Skeete (twice); British champions Darren Hamilton; Curtis Woodhouse & Lee Purdy (twice); English champion Ryan Barrett; the highly respected talent of Yassine El Maachi; 2008 Olympian & Amateur World Bronze medallist Bradley Saunders; Manny Pacquiao’s primary sparring partner for his first three Marquez bouts Dean Byrne & 2009 ABA Champion Ronnie Heffron… by any measure that’s a remarkable range & volume of high quality operators.

The Irishman’s record will never do him justice – certainly not in the era of hyper-inflated, untested prospects – but boxing was built on such honest craftsmen in the true Golden era of the sport – the decade or so that followed the end of the Second World War & predated the television stimulated deflation & devaluation of boxing as sport in favour of boxing as a carefully scripted pseudo-product. Peter McDonagh is the embodiment of what boxing should be about – honest toil – the pursuit of achievement & not the fear of failure.

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