It’s that time of the year again when the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Each year, the festivities just keep getting grander and even more glamorous. This 2021, just like last year, it is bound to get different and beyond the norms since the celebrations will have to be toned down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Scrapdigest post, you will get to know St. Patrick’s Day highlight, the top five Irish fighters of all time.
In order for you to understand this, let us get to know the background on St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day: Overview, History & More
St. Patrick’s Day refers to the feast day honoring St. Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. It is celebrated originally with religious festivities and worship services. Since its conception, it has become a faith-based celebration among Irish culture groups, and across the United States, via the Irish immigrants.
It is likewise interesting to learn about the history of St. Patrick’s Day. This holiday and celebration give honor to St. Patrick, a patron saint born in Roman Britain during the late fourth century. In his life, he was kidnapped when he was 16 years old and brought to Ireland to work as a slave. St. Patrick was able to escape, but he returned in the year 432 to get converted to Christianity. When he passed away on March 17th, 461, he has already established monasteries, schools, and churches.
Legends and stories were formed around him, for instance, the anecdote saying he drove away snakes out of Ireland, and the use of the St. Patrick’s Day iconic symbol, the shamrock to elaborate on the Trinity.
Research from Betway shows why St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday across four countries and celebrated around the globe. According to the page, approximately 149 million individuals in the United States are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in 2018, while a year later, around 400 landmarks in more than 50 countries are lighting up in green to mark the celebration, including the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Sydney Opera House, and more. In Ireland and in Northern Ireland, 6.8 million people are known to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with religious gatherings, food adventures, travels, parties, pub crawls, feasts, and so much more. It is celebrated on March 17th this year.
Top 5 Irish Fighters Of All Time
Now it is time to learn about the best Irish fighters across history. Scrapdigest has consulted with the experts to see who the best personalities are in boxing. Here is the list, including their professional records of wins and losses.
Born in County Clare, Ireland, Mike McTigue transferred to the United States when he was 21 years old. Known by his monicker Bould Mike, he returned to his hometown to become declared the light heavyweight champion in 1923, beating opponent Battling Siki after 20 rounds in Dublin, Ireland.
Then, he also once lost his title to Tommy Loughran but won during their rematch. His second reign as fighting champion lasted until the mid-1920s when he was defeated by Paul Berlenbach.
At the age of 38, his license in boxing got revoked. He passed away in New York in the late 1960s. After his death, the world celebrated his legacy. He has been featured in Clare Champion newspaper in 1966, saying, “How would Mike McTigue compare with the boxers of today? He would outbox any man in the middleweight and light heavy divisions and I think only Cassius Clay’s footwork, which is brilliant, would edge a decision over Clare’s Greatest Son.” Professional record: 77-26-8
Second on the list is Tom Sharkey, born in Dundalk, yet ended up in New York after escaping their home, to work as a cabin boy. Sharkey also joined the United States Navy prior to beginning his career as a boxer while he was in Hawaii.
He is quite a legendary fighter. He drew with James J. Corbett in the year 1896 then registered his feat against Bob Fitzsimmons later during the same year. He was awarded this fight after his opponent was disqualified by the referee then, named Wyatt Earp, making this fighter a world champion. Professional record: 37-7-6 (34 KOs)
Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey
Let us continue the list of the best Irish fighters of all time with Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey. Jack Dempsey, otherwise known as Nonpareil, was given this moniker because of his reputation of being “unbeatable.” Yet, he also has losses throughout his career, but not significant when looking at his wins. Among these losses included that against Billy Baker.
Dempsey was born in Curran, Ireland, but established his popularity in the United States. He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, with the newspaper saying, “To a generation of American boxing followers, he was a fighter who first demonstrated that boxing can be performed as art, with style, grace, and athleticism.” Professional record: 51-4-11 (23 KOs)
Steve Collins was born in Dublin and has been a two-weight world champion, defeating Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. This Celtic Warrior also created his name in the United States, yet it is known he started out as middleweight, yet lost this title against Reggie Johnson and Mike McCallum.
He moved to Britain for his major title, after Collins defeated Chris Pyatt in Sheffield, England, gaining him his WBO title. He then moved up to super-middleweight to challenge then WBO titleholder, Eubank, ending his unbeaten streak and reign, seen on the points with the knockdown. Professional record: 36-3 (21 KOs)
No one would perhaps forget about Irish fighter Jimmy McLarnin whose life story included his immigration to Canada when he was just three years old. He was born in County Down’s Hillsborough.
McLarnin was a two-time welterweight champion, a rarity in the industry of boxing, and retired after this and did not return.
In 1928, he yielded to Sammy Mandell and later claimed his world title after five years when he defeated Young Corbett III within one round.
He has also been involved in various bouts with Barney Ross, with two out of three losses against this fighter. There are times when the two would complete 15 rounds, both emerging formidable and strong. Professional record: 55-11-3 (21 KOs)
It is inevitable for the entire world to talk about Ireland and Irish culture each time the world’s population will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The festivities of leprechauns, clover leaves, and everything Irish is definitely here to stay. How will you celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day?