Without a doubt, Barry McGuigan was one of the top names in the boxing industry when he was around, consistently in the top three of his era. As an amateur he won an incredible wealth of titles and in the 1978 Commonwealth Games he won gold aged just 17. His first world title, the Featherweight Champion of the World, came in front of 20m TV viewers as he beat down Eusebio Pedroza, and won fight of the night in the process!
His amazing performances in the ring early on his career seen him tipped for the very top, and his classy personality helped these calls grow even louder. He helped cross sectarian and religious divides for many, using his likeable personality to bring others together and change the future of the world he lived in. His career involved many incredible different wins and performances, and today he is still seen as one of the true gentleman of the sport. He helped create a neutral feeling throughout the Troubles in Northern Ireland, too. His open personality made it easier for others to be more accepting of religious divide, at a time when religious tension was at an all-time high.
He fought all across Britain, and created an incredible following throughout the years as he would fill out wherever he fought. His main act to help with the problems in Ireland was, as a Catholic, to marry his Protestant sweetheart. Today, they still remain happily married. He won many fights throughout his career, fighting until the late 1980s when he retired following a loss to Jim McDonnell. However, prior to his retirement he had collected a large selection of accolades and awards, with numerous belts and personality awards littering his stories career for the generations to come.
He fought in the US, too, having taken on Stevie Cruz from Texas in Las Vegas in 1986. It was a fifteen round fight that lasted forever, and McGuigan lost the fight by decision after suffering heavily from dehydration throughout the fought. This was the last time that he ever held a title, despite being the owner of many titles along the way like the WBA Featherweight title. It was his own passion for boxing that made McGuigan such a popular member of the sport, but his personality and ability to help with the problems in Ireland certainly played an equally large part in puffing up his legend.