Irish boxing legend John McNally dies aged 89

John McNally died in Belfast. The former Irish boxer was 89 when his death was confirmed.

McNally was the first Irish boxer to win an Olympic medal. The Belfast native won the silver medal at the Helsinki Games in 1952.

The Irishman was optimistic about the gold medal, but he lost controversially to a good friend and compatriot, Pentti Hamalainen.

On his way to the gold medal game, McNally had many memorable victories even though few gave him a chance due to his age. At the Helsinki games he was only 19 years old when most of his opponents were almost twice his age.

He picked up a unanimous decision victory over Alejandro Ortuosto in his first fight. Despite being the underdog, he caused one of the biggest upsets of the Olympics when he upset Italian Vincenzo Dall’Osso.

Following this victory, the 19-year-old was guaranteed to win at least a bronze medal.

However, his bronze medal was quickly converted to silver when he conquered Joon-Ho Kang of the Republic of Korea. Due to his accomplishments, McNally was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

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