View Full Version : Rinty Monaghan's Legendary King's Hall Victory

03-29-2006, 02:28 PM
Rinty's legendary king's hall victory

Down memory lane with Malcolm Brodie from The Belfast Telegraph

It was just a chance lunch time meeting at the corner of North Street and Royal Avenue.

"I've thrown in the heap," said noted boxing manager Frank McAloran. Baffled I asked him what was he talking about.

"The titles - all gone," he replied.

McAloran, former Irish featherweight champion, most pragmatic of men and not a self-seeking publicist, was returning from visiting British Boxing Board of Control Ulster secretary Jack Woodhouse with the sensational news his protege Rinty Monaghan had relinquished FOUR flyweight titles - World, European, Empire and British.

"You're kidding - that can't be true," I said.

"No, if he cannot breathe he cannot fight - it is as simple as that," confirmed Frank who had watched him repeatedly struggle during training on the Cave Hill.

Yet, a few years earlier he was a physical fitness fanatic working in the Belfast shipyard, doing four mile runs, chopping down trees, swallowing a couple of raw eggs at a farmhouse then washing them down with a pint of goat's milk.

There was disbelief when the story appeared in The Belfast Telegraph that night. Monaghan had developed sinus and pulmonary problems after he had won the world title on an epic night at the King's Hall on March 23, 1948.

Promoter Bob Gardiner, who with George Connell, brought big-time boxing to Belfast during the 40s and 50s succeeded against the odds in getting Scotland's Jackie Paterson to defend his title against Monaghan in Belfast.

What a coup but the grapevine indicated southpaw Paterson, a product of the famous Anderston Club, Glasgow, had difficulty making the weight; he walked the streets at 9st4lbs and fought in the ring at 8stone.

Paterson's entourage on the eve of the fight, was holed up in the basement of Glasgow, West End house where the boxer sat in front of a blazing fire with the training woollens on, perspiration pouring from him and, eventually after painstaking hours, he squeezed five and half pounds from a shrivelled body.

Paterson made the weigh-in five minutes late and, fortunately, came in just below the stipulated poundage.

And so the scene was set for Rinty to write a chapter of Irish boxing history against the Scot who had won and lost against the Ulsterman in two previous fights.

This was now the unification battle. Whoever won was the champion of the world.

Paterson, pale and gaunt, took a seven count with a left hook in the second after some cautious sparring. He knew his only tactic was to get it over quickly as the stamina drained from his body. He pushed forward and caught Rinty with a right - the only moment of threat.

This was how Johnny Caughey (The Timekeeper), then boxing correspondent of this newspaper, described the seventh and final round: "It opened with Paterson landing a crisp two-handed volley to Monaghan's head. Rinty retreated momentarily and the Scot, probably thinking he had dazed his opponent, went forward to consolidate his score.

"That was the opening for which Monaghan had been waiting. He answered with a full-power right hook to the chin, Paterson being spreadeagled for a nine count. In the 10,000 crowd's roar over this match-winning punch the count was barely audible but Paterson staggered groggily to his feet just beating the toll.

"He was practically defenceless and Monaghan, pouncing for the kill, caught him in a corner with a shower of lefts and rights to Paterson's unprotected chin until he gradually slumped unconscious to a sitting position in which he was counted out. Ireland had its first world champion since Jimmy McLarnin in 1934 and first home-based boxer to become a world title-holder."

I left ringside and caught a taxi to Rinty's home at 32 Little Corporation Street. Bonfires were lit throughout Sailor Town. "We want Rinty" shouted the ever increasing crowd of fans but it was two hours later before Rinty arrived to start the sporting party of all time in Dockland.

After defeating Italian Otello Belardini in a non-title bout, Monaghan successfully defended his title against London's Terry Allen at the King's Hall in September, 1949.

Rinty, the name came from wonder dog Rin Tin Tin who starred in many films, sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", "I'm Forever Chasing Rainbows" and "Hello Patsy Fagan" at the end of each fight and later, despite failing health, entered the cabaret scene with his Popeye act and then got a number of menial jobs while Paterson was stabbed in a drunken pub brawl in South Africa, 1966, dying penniless and psychologically wrecked. A sad end, far from the roar of that King's Hall crowd.

Rinty's last job was a petrol attendant at the Shamrock Garage near the Corporation Street Labour Exchange. One day a local radio station announced he had died in Belfast but before we started producing his obituary I asked one of our reporters to check it out.

When he arrived at the garage, there was the bold Rinty whistling and pouring petrol into a car.

The cub reporter said to Rinty "Malcolm asked me to check if you had died!" Rinty retorted: "Tell him I'll give him advance warning so when it happens he can have the first lift!"

That was typical of John Joseph Monaghan who lived life to the full and enjoyed every minute of it. He had no enemies. When he died on March 3, 1984, at the age of 63, fans turned out in their thousands to pay their final respects.

03-29-2006, 02:30 PM
Cyber Boxing Champion -- Rinty Monaghan

Born: August 21, 1920 Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died: March 3, 1984 Belfast, Northern Ireland
Real Name: John Joseph Monaghan
Professional Record: 43-8-3 (19 kayos)
Manager: Frank McAloran

Sept 28 Boy Ramsey D4 Belfast
Dec 19 Jim Pedlow W4 Belfast

Feb 17 Vic Large Belfast KO 4
March 29 Young Finnegan KO4 Belfast

Jan 13 Sam Ramsey Belfast W 6
Feb 22 Young Josephs W6 Belfast
Mar 20 Sam Ramsey D6 Carrickfergus
Mar 28 Sam Ramsey W6 Belfast
Apr 8 Young Kelly Belfast W 6
May 16 Young Josephs Belfast TKO 3
May 20 Jack McKenzie Belfast D 10
Jul 24 Young Josephs Larne, N. Ireland D 6
Sep 18 Joe Duffy Larne, N. Ireland W 6

May 01 Jim Keery L6 Belfast
May 10 Mick Gibbons Belfast W 6
Jun 21 Mick Gibbons Belfast W 6
Jul 7 Sam Ramsey Belfast W 6
Jul 13 Ted Meikle Belfast TKO 4
Aug 9 Ted Meikle Belfast W 8
Aug 18 Frank Benson Belfast TKO 6
Sep 17 Ted Meikle Belfast W 8
Oct 1 Paddy O'Toole Belfast TKO 4
Nov 17 George Lang Belfast KO 1
Dec 2 Tommy Allen Belfast KO 5

Jan 21 Alf Hughes Belfast KO 9
Feb 4 Pat Murphy Belfast TKO 4
Mar 1 Spider Allen Belfast KO 2
Mar 3 Cyclone Kelly Liverpool, England W 10
Mar 15 Cyclone Kelly Belfast W 10
May 06 Joe McCluskey W10 Belfast
May 27 Peter Peters Belfast KO 1
Jun 18 Ivor Neil Belfast KO 1
July ?? Joe Kiely W10 Belfast
Jul 23 Jackie Paterson Belfast KO by 5
Aug 11 Joe Curran Belfast W 10
Sep 2 Tommy Stewart Belfast L 10

Feb 27 Joe Curran Liverpool, England KO 5
Mar 20 Sammy Reynolds Newcastle, England W 10
Jun 28 Tommy Stewart Belfast W 8
Jul 20 Billy Ashton Liverpool, England W 8
Nov 8 Seaman Chetty Newcastle, England W 10

Jan 10 Paddy Ryan Newcastle, England L 10
Mar 04 Tommy Stewart W8 Belfast
Mar 20 Jimmy Gill Newcastle, England L 10


Dec 26 Joe Meikle W8 Belfast

June 06 Harry Rodgers D8 Belfast
Jul 13 Ike Weir Belfast L 10

Oct 04 Joe Meikle KO1 Belfast

Jul 9 Joe Collins Dublin W 10
Sep 13 Tommy Burney Liverpool, England W 10
Oct 18 Joe Curran Liverpool, England L 10
Nov 6 Eddie "Bunty" Doran Belfast KO 4

Apr 4 Tommy Burney Liverpool, England W 8
Jun 7 Jackie Paterson Belfast TKO 6
Sep 11 Alec Murphy Glasgow, Scotland W 8
Sep 24 Sammy Reynolds Belfast WDQ 8

Mar 11 Terry Allen London KO 1
Jul 1 Emil Famechon London W 10
Jul 16 Dado Marino Glasgow, Scotland LDQ 9
Oct 20 Dado Marino London W 15
(Wins NBA Flyweight Title)

Mar 23 Jackie Paterson Belfast KO 7
(Retains NBA, Wins Lineal, Commonwealth and British Flyweight Titles)

Jun 28 Charlie Square Birmingham, England TKO 7

Feb 7 Terry Allen London L 8
Apr 5 Maurice Sandeyron Belfast W 15
(Retains World and Wins European Flyweight Titles)

Aug 19 Otello Belardinelli Belfast W 10

Sep 30 Terry Allen Belfast D 15
(Retains World, European, Commowealth, and British Flyweight Titles)

Mar 30 Abandons Title
Apr 25 Announces Retirement because of chronic bronchitis

1998 The Cyber Boxing Zone. Thanks to Matt Tegen & Harry Otty for supplying the record.

03-30-2006, 04:59 AM
Thanks for the article, Gordoom.

It's nice to read about some of the lesser weight fighters that don't quite get the recognition they deserve.


03-30-2006, 07:52 PM
That was a good article -- I wonder if there are any bios of Rinty?

Thanks for the posting Gor!

03-31-2006, 04:30 PM
You're more than welcome, guys. I'm just happy to see that there still are some fans that appreciate deserving warriors like Rinty & other great lighter weight fighters.

It seems like these days people are more interested in discussing how big some heavyweight's man tits are gonna be before a fight than paying attention to where the real action is in boxing - the lighter weights.


04-05-2006, 06:28 PM
Gor and Deepak -- what do you think -- I may be hall of fame obsessed but what can ya do -- Rinty in the IBHOF one of these days? If only he had fought a few more years, I know his health was so poor he had no choice to retire but... you wonder how much longer he could have reigned but for the bronchitis... Of course, those what ifs apply to so many fighters...

01-06-2007, 04:10 PM
Rinty was potentially one of the flyweight greats.
His amiable, charming personality outside the ring, contrasted vividly with his aggressive, free-swinging demeanor inside.
Cursed with a lean angular body, coupled with a face so comically uneven it constituted a work of art, rinty joined that dubious pantheon of chicken boned, rock-hard, wiry warriors that included the likes of basilio, jenkins and fullmer; men whose sinewy torso's reflected a hard labourous, spartan age so completely alien to comfortable tecnological one we live in.

Monaghan was only a teen when he had his first pro fight. In his next thirty fights he was held to a draw four times. Just when his career began to hot up WW11 interrupted his progress, and between 40 to 46 he boxed only eleven times, but it was in this time that he really developed into a puncher and in 47 he knocked out future nemesis terry allen in the first round.
One of monaghan's impediments to true universal greatness was his tendency of following an excellent performance with an indifferent stinker, and he also had to retire as champion because of a lung problem.
Rinty was a legendary fighter and entertainer though, it will be forever remembered as the 'singing and dancing' king of the king's hall.