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Boxer Sean a knockout crimefighter as he tackles two muggers in a day

By Nevin Farrell

Published 14/09/2015

Ready to rumble: Sean McComb
Ready to rumble: Sean McComb

A top boxer who was hailed a hero after foiling two street thefts within an hour in Belfast city centre has said his training meant he was able to out-sprint the suspects.

Belfast amateur fighter Sean McComb (23) - who is to take part in the World Boxing Championships in Qatar next month - became a one-man crimefighter yesterday.

Sean first recovered cash for a local woman who was mugged as she waited for a bus near City Hall at around 10.40am.

Around an hour later he helped reunite a tourist with a phone after a sneak thief offered to take a picture of the visitor but ran off.

Elite amateur boxer McComb was working at his day job with tour bus firm City Sightseeing Belfast.

After the first incident Sean tweeted that was his "good deed" for the next six months - but within an hour he sprang into action again.

He later joked the police would have to start paying him. Sean said that after the woman had her purse stolen he tracked the culprit for some distance through nearby streets before nabbing him and getting her money back.

He said he was only interested in getting the items back and didn't detain the suspects but later gave a statement to police.

Sean said: "I was standing outside Belfast City Hall working. I heard a girl squealing and work colleagues pointed up the street and I saw someone running.

"I started jogging up to see where he was going and when he saw me he started running, so I chased him and he ran down Castle Arcade and into an entry near Cornmarket.

"I sprinted and caught up with him down the alleyway and grabbed him and took the money off him and went back. A work colleague had lifted the purse which was thrown away and the girl was delighted because her bank card was in the purse along with her pin.

"I just got him and took whatever he had taken. I was only worried about getting the purse back and wasn't too concerned about holding him until the police came.

"The run was a good distance, he was wrecked, out of breath, I was only getting started.

"I asked the woman if she was OK and she said she was a bit shaken and her hands were shaking."

But within an hour Sean was back in action when he saw a man chasing somebody.

"I said to myself, 'No way, this cannot be happening again'. The guy did a lap and I jogged down behind him and he came running out and slowed down thinking he got away. But I started running and caught him.

"I gave the phone back to the fella, he was a tourist taking a selfie outside City Hall and the teenager said he would take a photo and ran off with the phone."

Sean said there had been a "big reaction" to his heroics and said he didn't usually get involved in incidents "because sometimes it can go against you, it can turn upside down, but I don't know what came over me today".

Sean is now looking forward to the World Championships in Doha in October.

Belfast Telegraph

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