Monday, March 22, 2010

Former Gloves Champ Seamus McDonagh on Al Gavin

We recently received this dispatch from Seamus McDonagh, the 1985 NY Golden Gloves Heavyweight champion.  Seamus would go on to turn pro and fight the likes of Evander Holyfield (that's Seamus, pictured, delivering a hard right hand to Holyfield's chin in a 1990 bout...)

"I loved Al Gavin. When I came to New York as a teenager, my introduction to the profession was at the Gramercy Boxing Gym on 14th street. Al was always so kind to me. 

I was shocked to see Mustafa Hamsho there and to be introduced to the likes of Paddy Flood. I was suspicious of the managers who sat at a table to the side of the ring, smoking cigars which enraged me. 

But Al would always come up with something funny and break the ice. He worked the corner in a lot of my fights in the "Gloves" and in the pros. 

When I'd see him in the dressing the night of a fight, I'd immediately relax. His expertise with cuts kept my unbeaten run going for a long time.

When I recall the "Gloves", an image of Al pops into my head, also Neil Ferara and "The Thin Man" Nick, Bobby Barbero, Vinny Cerola and Joe Baffi, and my dad Jim McDonagh. They were the days of innocence in boxing for me and 

Al was a part of that. So he isn't gone because he lives on in me and everyone's lives he touched, literally. Thank you dear Al."
Seamus McDonagh
NY Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion 1985

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