Barry was one of the best boxers of his generation, on a memorable, balmy night in June 1985, a television audience of twenty million watched as McGuigan achieved his dream and became Featherweight Champion of the World by defeating Eusebio Pedroza, voted ‘Fight of the Year’ by British Boxing Board of Control. His amazing performance later captured him another title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. McGuigan was voted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.
McGuigan’s popularity transcended the sport of boxing and his fights became family occasions, uniting people across sectarian and religious divides during a troubled time in the country’s political history:; fans chanted “Leave the fighting to McGuigan.” A Catholic, Barry married his Protestant childhood sweetheart, Sandra Mealiff in 1981. An Irishman, he fought for the British Title, his boxing shorts the colours of the United Nation’s Flag of Peace and rather than an anthem his father sang ‘Danny Boy’ on many emotionally charged occasions before a fight.
After hanging up his gloves, Barry established himself on-screen as a boxing commentator and as winner of the cookery contest Hell’s Kitchen. Barry also trained the Actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in the film The Boxer, as well as choreographing the fight scenes.
Barry now trains and manages young fighters, including fellow Northern Irishman and one of the world’s best Super Bantamweights, current IBF World Champion Carl Framton. Barry is the founding Chairman of the Professional Boxing Association, promoting further education and helping boxers prepare for life beyond the ring. He is an enormously entertaining speaker, sharing anecdotes and offering his own insight into what it takes to reach the top in one of the physically and mentally demanding of sports.
To book Barry to speak at your event please call a Prime Performers Booking Agent on 020 7251 8222 or email your enquiry to email@example.com
- Daisy is a freelance TV presenter, reporter and writer.
- Former Mayor of London and the driving force behind the capital’s successful 2012 Olympic bid.
- Sports presenter and anchor of BBC Breakfast who currently hosts BBC One’s award winning Football Focus and regularly presents Match of the Day.