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New statue of boxing legend Rinty Monaghan sure to be a knockout

By Rebecca Black

Published 04/08/2015

Hero: Belfast boxer Rinty Monaghan
Hero: Belfast boxer Rinty Monaghan

A huge bronze statue of one of Northern Ireland's most famous boxers is to dominate a city centre square.

A three-metre high sculpture of Rinty Monaghan will be erected at Cathedral Gardens, better known locally as Buoy Park, due to its three massive maritime buoys.

The statue was granted planning permission only last week, but is expected to be formally unveiled later this week.

One of Scotland's premier figurative artists, Alan Beattie Herriot, won the commission to design and build the sculpture of Monaghan along with one of fellow Belfast boxer John Caldwell and a third, not yet confirmed. Born in 1918, Monaghan grew up in north Belfast and went to St Patrick's CBS on Donegall Street.

He turned professional in his mid-teens. His career was interrupted by service in the Second World War but continued upon his return when he drew enormous crowds to the King's Hall.

Monaghan became world champion in October 1947 and kept the title after defeating Scot Jackie Paterson in 1948.

He retired in 1950 with a trophy cabinet laden with British, European, Commonwealth and World crowns. Of his 66 official bouts, he won 51, drew six and lost nine.

Eamon McAuley of the Belfast Boxing Ring said: "It is a very exciting time for boxing in Belfast and this project will see the city celebrate a sport and the individuals who have provided immense pride to the local community."

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