My earliest memory of Seamus was of the fight he is most famous for, pictured above. It was 1990 and I was 6 years old. At 6, I didn’t understand much about boxing, and couldn’t have told you any professional boxer’s name other than Mike Tyson. I remembered Seamus because of my father. He is a life-long boxing fan, and has watched fights every Saturday night for as long as I can recall. He rarely cheers for any fighter, and that’s what stood out to me. Because I was so young I didn’t remember the fight until I watched it again, years later. Other than knowing that Seamus had lost, those details weren’t important to my recollection of the event. What was important was the emotion my normally stoic father had invested in what was on the television that night. Mike Tyson was supposed to fight Evander Holyfield that night to unify the heavyweight titles, but he had been unexpectedly KO’ed in a tune-up fight with Buster Douglas earlier that year. McDonagh was offered his shot, and it was the first time an Irish fighter would challenge for the Heavyweight title in years. I feel some connection to this fight because I was watching that night, however young I may have been. I feel that this connection is what gives me the authority to write about that fight, and that night, because it was my first as a boxing fan.
My main goal for this project was to create a live Wikipedia page for the boxer Seamus Mc Donagh. About a year ago I was reading a boxer’s record on Wikipedia when I noticed that Seamus McDonagh’s name was red-inked (meaning that no page existed). I thought it was funny even then- most Heavyweight title contenders are thought important enough within the pantheon of professional boxing history to be included in Wikipedia’s extensive records. Given McDonagh’s popularity in Ireland and New York, I was suprised at how little information was out there on him.
I started by gathering basic information on him. His birth date is still a mystery–it is either unknown or unpublished, even on the largest and most comprehensive boxing websites. Even his place of birth seems to be debated on the internet, possibly because it is a sensitive subject with the man himself. He considers himself to be from Meath, Ireland. It was here he grew up and lived until he left for New York City to go to college and pursue his boxing career. I found that he was actually born in Birmingham, England. I won’t speculate any further into this confusion, but it made me feel useful to clear it up.
After doing my initial research, I began writing the Wiki entry and trying to teach myself how to format it for the site. I learned to write in the neutral tone of the wiki author and to cite all my facts accordingly.
I submitted the rough draft to Wikipedia, and the page is now live All that is left now is to tell the actual story of the fight itself. Rather than give you my interpretation of what actually happened, and in the spirit of this course on autobiography, I want to share this video where Seamus recounts that fight in his own words.