herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Retired Fagan was one tough cookie

OISIN FAGAN has bowed out of boxing at 36, with a professional record of 25 wins and eight losses. He was one of those fighters who never gave less than 100pc and hated to lose.

His last fight was at the National Stadium in February, challenging Cavan's unbeaten Andy Murray for the Irish lightweight title when Belfast referee Dave Irving stopped the one-sided bout in the fifth round.

Far from being grateful that he had been rescued from a systematic hiding, Oisin moaned loud and long that he should have been allowed to go on. "You know me, I always fight to the very end," he told reporters. Fagan did win an Irish title at light-welterweight, and was Oklahoma lightweight champion during a five-year stay in the States, when he mixed boxing with his day job as a primary school teacher.

While his American qualifications don't allow him a teaching job here, he has landed a role with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association enabling him to guide disadvantaged kids along the right road. Fagan fought some of the best, including world champions Amir Khan and Paul Spadafora, and says he would like to be remembered as someone who would fight anyone, anywhere, no matter their reputation. That's a no-brainer, Oisin.

Big George Foreman got it spot on when he told Fagan after watching one of his fights: "Irishman, you are one tough cookie."

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