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The Lisburn Exiles Forum is dedicated to the memory of James Goddard Collins (The Boss) who single-handedly built LISBURN.COM (with a lot of help from many contributors) from 1996 to 29th November 2012. This website was his passion and helping people with a common interest in the City of Lisburn around the world is his lasting legacy.
I was really ‘down’ today, till Arsenal won. Now I’ve come to perk you guys up.
Once again, I’ve looked back through a couple of ‘pages’ of comments, and enjoyed the experience. Anybody remember Richie Neill, from Barnsleys Row – (The Hollow’ . He used to go out with a cute wee girl called Babes Murray. A ‘chippie’ by trade, he too did a bit of – what else? – boxing.
Greatest boxer from the town ,to me was Joe Boy Collins, he worked as a fitter in Hilden Mill, died very young.
I think you would have to put Messrs Thompson,Keery and Watters up there if not ahead.
I get really ‘hooked’ when you guys write these names. I grew up admiring them, seeing only a few of them fight, but hearing of their exploits. I guess someone looking in would remember, may be related to, Jim Russell. I used to feel honoured, when, down at the toss in the hollow, he bothered to speak to me, and proud that he asked; “How’s your da?” I think they were both ‘fond of the bottle’, But didn’t Jim, as a professional, fight Paddy Slavin a couple of times? Who cares if he lost? He was ‘our man’, against the best the country could produce. I once saw him, in the Wallace Park, have a fight with Tommy Lewis. Well, it wasn’t exactly a fight. Tommy started it, and Jim quickly finished it.
Dicky Hanna was the best small man around Lisburn in his time. Not sure how he rated against Billy Thompson, a bit older. I know they sparred.
Any of you recall ‘Rinty’ Graham, a featherweight? Trained at Stanley Orr’s gym in Chapel Hill or Longstone Street.
Before my time, and still whilst I was in the town, Sammy Castles, a round-shouldered guy from the County Down, was held in high esteem by many fighting men. I heard he was an outstanding boxer in the forces.
I remember Rinty Graham, he boxed around the same time as Jim Taggart another good scrapper. I liked Joe Boy Collins and who knows what he might have achieved had he not died so young.Jim Keery for me was the toughest fighter to come out of Lisburn, he was the only British boxer who would fight Sandy Saddler at Harringay Arena, and Saddler was one tough customer. Jim was to later open a Gym in New York. My favorite Lisburn boxer of them all was Billy Thompson, and I don't think Dickie Hanna came close to matching Billy for speed.
I heard tell that my daddy Billy Thompson knocked Dickie Hanna out in a bout once.
It is heartwarming to know so many of you remember my dad. I try to get out of my aunt Betty stories of the past but it doesn't always work. It still doesn't add up why he left boxing. Dabbler thinks he was ill, aunt Betty says it was because of the war, but that doesn't add up. He actually got married in I think in 1943, my brother Will was born in 1944, and me 1945. I know he couldn't find a house to rent in Lisburn, and he took his bride to a house in Whitehead where I was born. We moved back to Lisburn, Well Lane when I was about three and a half (which I remember). I guess that was why he stopped boxing when he was at his peak - to get married. I then remember him training when I was about six. What I do need to ask Aunt Betty is what running club he was connected to as he talked a lot about 'running to Belfast when he got up, and back again, no doubt before he went to work!' And indeed she has his medals for running. He was pretty tough, enough to survive a fall from a three storey building in the early sixties! What a man! and no more than 5'2"!
Nice one Beano, and Hilary. I know the Keery name, but do not remember him. But if he fought Saddler, wow! Joe Boy’s dad, cutting my hair when I was fourteen, said I should go and join the club where his son trained. Wisely, I didn’t. It was three years before I learned how painful the game is, and how unsuited to it I was.
It does not surprise me that Billy beat Dickie, He was already very skilful and experience when I saw him fight, and Dickie was up-and-coming. Billy explained to me the need for a gumshield. I thimk he called it a gutaperkin, or something similar – I can remember him saying the word, which I had never heard of.
RE Billy Thompson and Dickie Hanna ever being in the same ring I find hard to believe due to the great differences in their ages I remember BT training with Isaac(Jim) keery Ginger(Tommy Watters and Jim Ward in the boxing club at the botttom of East Down View or BAP ROW as it was called locally. this unless old age is clouding my memory was before DH's time .However I stand to be corrected[[:|]
I don't know the age difference of Dickie Hanna and dad, I just know I remember Dickie. He must have lived in Canal Street. I remember my mother telling me around 1955 that he had died suddenly I think quite young. She said "you know the boxer who whistles all the time". Does anyone else remember this?
Last time I spoke to Dickie Hanna was in Mooney,s pub in the middle of the 70,s. We discussed the 1972 Munich Olympics . He knew some of the boxers who were there ( John Rodgers etc. ) There is a photo of him in May Blair,s book " Once upon thr Lagan ", in a boat at one of the weirs. Don.t know if he is still living but he was awarded a Bronze Medal 1958 in Cardiff at the Empire Games.
Thanks Donald, I am obviously completely mistaken about Dickie Hanna dying young. Well, that's good news.
Low Roader, forgot about the Kerrys that lived on my street, u prob. right. must support Low Road. Elete end of town.
Hi again all,
Dickie Hanna died in the mid seventies,which means he hadn't reached 40 and to me that was way too young. The bromze medal he got at the 1958 Empire games was for losing the semi-final to Howard Winstone who became a very successful pro.
I watched on TV, Dickies progress in the Games, 1958. He was twenty-one or two. He later fought as a pro, losing to Alan Rudkin. In about fifty three/four he WAS around , at the Quay, when Billy Thompson was still fighting. I am reliably informed, and Donald's comment supports my info, that Dickie took heavily to the bottle, before his untimely death.
You are right about the drink abuse,and I know he had help with it a couple of times. My brother informs me that he had a very troubled personal life, rumour has it, it lead to Dickie taking his own life. Can anyone substantiate this fact?.
Dickie definitely was around the "Quay" the same time as Billy Thompson and he got a lot of sparring help from Billy. Dabbler, before one of his Pro.fights Dickie was absolutely drunk out of his mind the night before, probably why his Pro.career never took off.
Poor wee Dickie. Somebody wrote about time standing still when you leave 'home'. It is certainly true for me. I remember sitting up on top of a wall with Dickie, a 'visitor' to our area, and another boy, Willie, when I was about twelve, and Willie saying to me; " I bet you couldn't fight HIM!" Dickie, to my everlasting gratitude, said, "Leave him alone"; and to me, " Somebody is always trying to get us to fight."
I would have been slaughtered, but would have been stupid enough to try.
I am Dickie Hannaa cousin his father James was my uncle. I remember Dickie as always smiling and could talk the hind leg of a donkey.
Dickie died too young which was really sad. i remember going to visit Dickie when he was in the Lagan Valley Hospital as was working there as a registered nurse. Dickie was always very upbeat even just before he died. Dickie left a wife Annette and 4 children who I think still live in Lisburn.
I live in Cambridgeshire where I have lived for nearly 30 years. There are many members of the Hanna family still living in Lisburn
speaking of boxers did none of you ever hear of brian magee from low rd who won world middleweight title and fought some of the best around a few years back and also jimmy (babyface)mclarnin who was born in ravarnett just outside lisburn probably the best of all irish boxers who won 2 world titles many years ago
Two-time welterweight world champion with a fearsome right-handed punch - who was known as "Babyface"
Thursday 11 November 2004 02.07 GMT Last modified on Tuesday 5 April 2016 06.51 BST
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Unlike so many fighters before or since, Jimmy "Babyface" McLarnin, the former two-time world welterweight champion who has died aged 96, hung up his gloves while on a winning streak, spurned all offers to make a comeback, and enjoyed a comfortable retirement after investing his earnings wisely.
Equally remarkably, the adopted American stayed loyal to his trainer and mentor Charles "Pop" Foster throughout his career. Indeed, when Foster died, in 1956, he left his former protege his entire fortune of $280,000.
The stability outside the ring which McLarnin enjoyed undoubtedly contributed to his considerable success within it. Few world champions were as talented or successful, and in 1996 Ring magazine rated him the fifth-best welterweight of all time.
At 17, McLarnin had already established himself as a hard-punching fighter blessed with phenomenal speed. He twice held the world 147lb crown and his trilogy of fights with fellow American Barney Ross attracted huge crowds.
Ross's mobility and relentless aggression saw him relieve McLarnin of the welterweight crown in New York on May 28 1934, only for McLarnin to gain revenge four months later. Finally, on May 28 1935, Ross was adjudged the narrow points victor of their third and deciding fight, although a somewhat bitter McLarnin always maintained he had edged it with a titanic effort over the final three minutes.
Born in Hillsborough, near Belfast, McLarnin emigrated with his family to Vancouver at the age of three and began boxing at 10 after getting into fights by defending his newspaper-selling pitch on street corners.
Foster, himself a former fighter, recognised the youngster's potential at 13 and constructed a makeshift gym in which to hone the young fighter's skills, telling him that he would one day become world champion.
"Boxing's a very hazardous business and I'd always felt that anybody who goes into it for fun has to be out of their entire cotton pickin' mind," McLarnin told one interviewer. "But then I started to make money; when I was 19 I had $100,000 in the bank, so all of a sudden I realised boxing was for me."
Having launched his career in Vancouver, Foster then took him to San Francisco where McLarnin's youthful appearance made it difficult to get fights until he lied about his age and acquired the nickname "Babyface".
McLarnin carried awesome power in both fists and his right was particularly feared. Like most big punchers, he suffered hand injuries and became more of a boxer in the latter part of his career. He lost his first title shot against Sammy Mandell for the world lightweight title in New York on May 21 1928, although he subsequently beat him twice in the next two years. It would be five years until his next chance, during which he knocked out New York's top lightweights and welterweights, including Sid Terris, Ruby Goldstein and Al Singer.
"There was no romance in it," he said, recalling his fighting days. "It was a tough, tough ordeal, but as the years went by and I got to know boxing, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be." McLarnin finally won the world welterweight crown by knocking out Young Corbett III in just two minutes 37 seconds. Then came that epic series of fights with Ross.
McLarnin's powers did not wane and he beat all-time greats Tony Canzoneri and Lou Ambers in his final fights. Nevertheless, he retired from the ring in November 1936 a wealthy man, having won 63 out of 77 contests, drawn three and lost 11. He opened a machine shop and also took up film acting, golfing and lecturing.
Although the former champion subsequently married and raised four children, his bond with Foster remained strong - McLarnin's mentor even bought a house in the same Californian street.
· James Archibald McLarnin, boxer, born December 19 1907; died October 28 2004
W L D
36 5 1
25 KOs 3 KOs
global ID 14880
division super middleweight
height 6â² 0â³ / 183cm
74â³ / 188cm
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Lisburn, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Register as Manager
Register as Promoter
Mikkel Kessler 45 2 0
BOXEN, Herning, Denmark L TKO
WBA World super middleweight title (supervisor: Dave Roden)
Rudy Markussen 37 2 0
Brondby Hallen, Brondby, Denmark W KO
interim WBA World super middleweight title (supervisor: Jesper D Jensen)
Jaime Barboza 17 4 0
Gimnasio Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica W UD
interim WBA World super middleweight title (supervisor: Jose Oliver Gomez)
Lucian Bute 27 0 0
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada L TKO
IBF World super middleweight title (supervisor: Hiawatha Knight)
Roman Aramyan 30 8 0
National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland W RTD
EBU (European) super middleweight title (supervisor: Bob Logist)
Mads Larsen 51 2 0
NRGi Arena, Aarhus, Denmark W TKO
vacant EBU (European) super middleweight title (supervisor: Pertti Augustin)
Stevie McGuire 14 0 1
Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom W KO
vacant BBBofC British super middleweight title
Simeon Cover 16 40 2
Robin Park Centre, Wigan, Lancashire, United Kingdom W TKO
Tyrone Wright 7 1 1
Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom W PTS
Mark Nilsen 6 3 0
Peterlee Leisure Centre, Peterlee, County Durham, United Kingdom W PTS
Tony Oakey 24 2 0
The Point, Dublin, Ireland D MD
BBBofC British light heavyweight title
Danny Thornton 21 12 3
Civic Centre, Motherwell, Scotland, United Kingdom W RTD
Andrew Lowe 16 1 0
Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, United Kingdom W PTS
Paul David 5 1 0
Metrodome, Barnsley, Yorkshire, United Kingdom W PTS
Carl Froch 18 0 0
York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom L KO
BBBofC British super middleweight title
Commonwealth (British Empire) super middleweight title
Daniil Prakaptsou 4 6 0
National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland W TKO
Varujan Davtyan 5 21 0
National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland W TKO
Vitaliy Tsypko 17 0 0
Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Bayern, Germany L SD
did none of you ever hear of brain magee from the low rd lisburn
Magee turned professional in March 1999, and fought Dean Ashton at the Bowler's Arena, Manchester, England on the undercard of a bill that included Damaen Kelly, Michael Brodie and Clinton Woods. Magee won his opener knocking out the Stoke man inside two rounds.
He won the vacant IBO Intercontinental super middleweight title in January 2001 by defeating Neil Linford from England. He then won the IBO world super middleweight title and defended it successfully eight times. He was then defeated in his attempt for the European title. In December 2008 he beat undefeated Scottish Stevie Maguire to win the British super middleweight title, and, after a 13-month break, returned to defeat Mads Larsen in a seven-round knockout in Aarhus, becoming European champion for the first time.
On 11 September 2010 Brian Magee defended his European Title against Armenia's Roman Aramian with the Armenian not starting the ninth round. Magee challenged IBF Super-Middleweight champion Lucian Bute in Canada on 19 March 2011. He lost the fight to Lucian Bute by TKO in the tenth round.
On 30 July 2011 Magee captured the interim WBA super-middleweight title with a unanimous points win over Jaime Barboza in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Magee vs. Kessler
On 8 December 2012. Brian Magee travelled to Denmark to face "The Viking Warrior" Mikkel Kessler in his home nation with the WBA Super Middleweight Title at stake. After a quiet 1st round, Magee went to the floor twice in the 2nd after Kessler landed some hard bodyshots. After 24 seconds on the third round it was allover, Kessler landed a hard bodyshot again; Magee never recovered and Kessler became World Champion for the fifth time.
Professional boxing record
36 Wins (24 knockouts), 5 Losses, 1 Draws
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 36â5â1 Denmark Mikkel Kessler TKO 3 (12) 12 August 2012 Denmark Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark Lost WBA World Super Middleweight Title
Win 36â4â1 Denmark Rudy Markussen TKO 3 (12) 18 February 2012 Denmark Brøndby Hall, Denmark Retained WBA Interim Super Middleweight Title
Win 35â4â1 Costa Rica Jaime Barboza UD 12 (12) 30 July 2011 Costa Rica Gimnasio Nacional, San José, Costa Rica Won WBA Interim Super Middleweight Title
Loss 34â4â1 Romania Lucian Bute TKO 10 (12) 19 March 2011 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec Lost IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Win 34â3â1 Armenia Roman Aramyan UD 12 (12) 9 November 2010 Republic of Ireland National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland Retained EBU (European) Super Middleweight title
Win 33â3â1 Denmark Mads Larsen RTD 8 (12) 30 January 2010 Denmark NRGi Arena, Aarhus, Denmark Won Vacant EBU (European) Super Middleweight title
Win 32â3â1 Scotland Steve McGuire KO 8 (12) 13 December 2008 England International Centre, Brentwood, Essex, England Won vacant BBBofC British Super Middleweight title
Win 31â3â1 England Simeon Cover TKO 4 (6) 11 July 2008 England Robin Park Centre, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
Win 30â3â1 England Tyrone Wright PTS 6 (6) 7 March 2008 England Leisure Centre, Nottinghamshire, England
Win 29â3â1 England Mark Nilsen PTS 4 (4) 8 February 2008 England Leisure Centre, Peterlee, County Durham, England
Draw 28â3â1 England Tony Oakey MD 12 (12) 25 August 2007 Republic of Ireland The Point, Dublin, Ireland For BBBofC British Light Heavyweight title
Win 28â3â0 England Danny Thornton RTD 2 (6) 8 June 2007 Scotland Civic Centre, Motherwell, Scotland
Win 27â3â0 England Andrew Lowe PTS 12 (12) 26 January 2007 England Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, England BBBofC British Light Heavyweight title eliminator
Win 26â3â0 England Paul David PTS 6 (6) 3 November 2006 England Metrodome, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Loss 25â3â0 England Carl Froch KO 11 (12) 26 May 2006 England York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England For BBBofC British & Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles
Win 25â2â0 Belarus Daniil Prakaptsou TKO 2 (4) 28 January 2006 Republic of Ireland National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Win 24â2â0 Armenia Varuzhan Davtyan TKO 2 ( 14 October 2005 Republic of Ireland National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Loss 23â2â0 Ukraine Vitaliy Tsypko SD 12 (12) 16 July 2005 Germany Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Germany For Vacant EBU (European) Super Middleweight title
Win 23â1â0 England Neil Linford TKO 7 ( 26/'11/2004 England Leisure Centre, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England
Loss 22â1â0 England Robin Reid UD 12 (12) 26 June 2004 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland Lost IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 22â0â0 Nigeria Jerry Elliot UD 12 (12) 17 April 2004 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 21â0â0 France Hacine Cherifi TKO 8 (12) 22 November 2003 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 20â0â0 Argentina Omar Eduardo Gonzalez KO 1 (12) 4 October 2003 United Kingdom Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 19â0â0 South Africa Andre Thysse TKO 10 (12) 21 June 2003 England M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 18â0â0 United States Miguel Angel Jimenez UD 12 (12) 22 February 2003 England Leisure Centre, Huddersfield, England Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 17â0â0 United States Jose Spearman UD 12 (12) 9 November 2002 England Leisure Centre, Altrincham, England Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 16â0â0 South Africa Mpush Makambi TKO 7 (12) 15 June 2002 England Town Hall, Leeds, England Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 15â0â0 Armenia Vage Kocharyan PTS 8 ( 18 March 2002 England Leisure Centre, Crawley, England
Win 14â0â0 Argentina Ramon Arturo Britez KO 1 (12) 10 December 2001 England Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool, England Retained IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 13â0â0 Jamaica Chris Nembhard TKO 6 ( 31 July 2001 England York Hall, London, England
Win 12â0â0 England Neil Linford UD 12 (12) 29 January 2001 England Leisure Centre, Peterborough, England Won Vacant IBO Super Middleweight Title
Win 11â0â0 Georgia (country) Teymuraz Kekelidze TKO 4 (10) 11 November 2000 United Kingdom Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Win 10â0â0 England Jason Barker PTS 8 ( 12 June 2000 United Kingdom Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Win 9â0â0 England Pedro Carragher KO 2 ( 15 April 2000 England York Hall, London, England
Win 8â0â0 England Darren Ashton TKO 5 ( 20 March 2000 England Leisure Centre, Mansfield, England
Win 7â0â0 England Rob Stevenson TKO 6 ( 21 February 2000 England Elephant And Castle Centre, London, England
Win 6â0â0 England Terry Morrill TKO 4 (6) 12 February 2000 England Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, England
Win 5â0â0 England Michael Pinnock TKO 3 (6) 16 October 1999 United Kingdom Leisure Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Win 4â0â0 England Dennis Doyley TKO 3 (4) 13 September 1999 England York Hall, London, England
Win 3â0â0 England Chris Howarth TKO 1 (4) 22 June 1999 England Corn Exchange, Ipswich, England
Win 2â0â0 England Richard Glaysher TKO 1 (4) 22 May 1999 United Kingdom Leisure Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Win 1â0â0 England Dean Ashton TKO 2 (4) 13 March 1999 England Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester, England
New title WBA Super Middleweight Interim Champion
30 July 2011 â 9 November 2012
Title next held by
Title last held by
Károly Balzsay WBA Super Middleweight Champion
9 November 2012 â 8 December 2012 Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Ramon Arturo Britez World Super Middleweight Champion
10 December 2001 â 6 June 2004
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!or jimmy (babyface)mclarnin born in ravernet just outside lisburn
My Dad always talked of boxers..
Y'all are always talking about boxers.
Someone tell me why "little old Lisburn" had so
many "great" boxers?
Wonderful that it did..any reason why?
Carolina, I don't know the answer to your question about boxers. Maybe it was because there was a boxing club in the town and the young lads went there and got "hooked". Pardon the pun. There wasn't much else to do in those days and a boxing club would have been a big attraction. That's all I can think of.
Thanks for the reply Ann. I have been away for a while, just got to your reply. I was kind of hoping that all the boxing "experts" we have on the forum might have been able to come up with an answer.
Pity they can't.
Hope you are doing well with your problem ? Thinking about you as
I just got through with cataract surgery. Amazingly wonderful. I can see to shave for the first time in..quite a while.
Something about a shave. A good friend of mine here always said sometimes a shave, is as good as a shower???
Did you see the Carl Frankton match with the Italian recently. I was just about to go to bed when it came on live, and although I am not a great boxing fan, that wee man had me cheering for him. It was such an even match, but I was delighted when he won! Anyone else see it?
Good morning, I am trying to make contact with former Lisburn boxers, or their relations, who plied their trade in the 1940s and '50s. I do appreciate that most of them have passed on, but as their were 100s of boxers from Lisburn, some of them are probably still around.