Ireland’s Boxing Legend John McNally Dies At 89
John McNally has died in Belfast. The former Irish boxer was aged 89 when his death was confirmed.
McNally was the first Irish boxer to win an Olympic medal. The Belfast native won the silver medal at the Helsinki games in 1952.
The Irishman was optimistic about taking home the gold, but he controversially lost to good friend and fellow countryman, Pentti Hamalainen.
In his route to the gold medal match, McNally secured many memorable wins despite not many giving him a chance due to his age. In the Helsinki games, he was only 19 while most of his opponents were almost twice his age.
He secured a unanimous victory over Alejandro Ortuosto in his first bout. Despite being the underdog, he caused one of the biggest upsets of the Olympics by upsetting the Italian Vincenzo Dall’Osso.
As a result of this win, the 19-year-old was guaranteed of winning at least a bronze medal.
However, his bronze medal was quickly converted into a silver medal as he conquered Joon-Ho Kang from the Korean Republic. Due to his achievements, McNally was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.