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Saturday 20 December 2014

Celebrity Diary: Barry McGuigan

It's been a great journey working on and co-hosting RTE's new reality show, Charity Lords of the Ring, for the past few weeks.

Lucy Kennedy has been a dream to work with. She's just a lovely, beautiful woman, full of life and energy.

I wasn't at all worried that she might go into labour on set, sure I'm a father of four myself, so I'm pretty experienced when it comes to the delivery of babies.

She has another bit to go before she needs to worry about any of that and even if she did we have a first class team on set.

The lads have been in great form this week, it was an exciting build up to last night's final and their appreciation for boxing has definitely doubled since we started this.

None of them are spring chickens, but they certainly put in a good effort.

Impartial

All was finally revealed last night when we filmed the final out in Citywest, but of course I can't ruin the surprise for tomorrow night when it airs.

I never tried to predict who would get into the final, all the guys had different strengths and weaknesses throughout the competition.

In terms of the two who did make it to the last match, Sean Gallagher and Paul Martin, I'm totally impartial. I had no preference as to who would go home the winner last night.

What I can talk about is the positive traits both of them had.

I thought Sean had a great technique and I was really surprised that Joe O'Shea beat him in the semi-final, before then having to pull out of the final through injury.

He looked very well balanced and probably had a slight weight advantage on the other guy.

But I think Joe rushed in with his punches and Sean probably didn't get a chance to find his feet and get the balance. Also with all the people cheering and shouting in the audience, it can take you out of your comfort zone.

It can be almost impossible to box with a camera stuck on them all the time, I really admire the fact that they've survived under the pressure.

Sean had a much better technique and punches correctly, but he's older and probably not as fit as Paul. There are a lot of issues that the guys had to overcome and I'm delighted for the winner, he absolutely deserves it.

They really have been a lovely bunch of guys and they've all been very friendly with one another, but very competitive. They were good to one another and gentleman-like to each other behind the scenes, I suppose on camera they have to do a bit of loud-mouthing to keep the press happy.

They have done all sorts of challenges and it's been as much a psychological test as a physical one.

I have to say not one of them has a future in boxing though. It's just an entertainment show at the end of the day and that's all it was meant to be, those guys are all too old to even think about going into boxing full time.

They've really enjoyed it, though, and had a bit of fun.

It's been really long, long days and very testing for them and they've all showed amazing strength and endurance. They've done everything from going up and down mountains with Boot-camp Ireland to kayaking to doing ballet to pulling fire machines and even pushing bales of hay up hills over the three weeks.

I had to join in with them and give them a hand in that last challenge that viewers saw on Wednesday night when they had to race through the water. I wanted to let them know that I remember what it feels like, that I've been there and done it all.

We went a bit easier on them this week and even brought them off to get massages and get the works done from pedicures to manicures as a reward for all their hard work.

I'm based in Britain full time and have been over there for the past 22 years so it's been nice to spend so much time over here lately.

Footsteps

My family came over to visit last Tuesday and have been having a great time.

The two girls spent the week shopping and going in and out of town, while my sons had a great time coming down to the bootcamp with me.

My son, Shane (20) is following in my footsteps and boxing himself and I'm managing him at the moment. He's doing very well and he's a fine prospect, he won the Irish under 21s this year and the Ulster Seniors last year.

I have a couple of other guys under my management here in Ireland as well so that's another string to my bow.

I'll be concentrating on all that next week once the excitement dies down after Charity Lords of the Ring.

We had a small bit of a wrap party last night to celebrate the success of the series, I couldn't stay too late myself though as I had to be up early to finish off the voice-overs before the final episode goes out tomorrow night. It was a fine fight and I'm sure viewers will enjoy it.

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