LAST NIGHT SOME of Kerry football’s best and brightest climbed into a ring in the INEC in Killarney to knock seven bells out of each other.
And… dangerous though it is… we got thinking.
Who would be the Irish athletes and sports personalities we’d least like to take on in a scrap? Who’d fight dirty? Who’d make us cry out for mercy. Who’d take our lunch money? In no particular order — as Dermot O’Leary would say — here’s who we’re most avoiding.
7. Johnny Maher
Why? Stupid question. Check out this performance in last year’s Galway SHC final.
YouTube: Conor Heneghan
Finishing move: Dirty pull/butt of a hurl to the ribs.
6. Sonia O’Sullivan
Why? An unexpected shout from one colleague on TheScore.ie’s sportsdesk but one we’re happy to include. Irish athletic’s former golden girl would bring a dogged determination, wirey strength and the endurance of a long-distance runner. Let’s not forget the earthy fighting sensibilities of those from Cobh and it’s a deadly cocktail.
Finish move: The Queenstown Spikes.
5. Peter Clohessy
Why? If children in Limerick are bold, their parents threaten them with a picture of the former rugby star’s face and the promise of a trip to the Sin Bin. We’d happily pay the pay-per-view to see a loser-leaves-town fight with Neil Francis.
Finishing move: The Claw – think a more agricultural cross-face chicken wing.
4. Katie Taylor
Why? Let me count the ways. Four world titles, one Olympic gold and this clip with Paddy Barnes.
Finishing move: If all else fails — which it won’t — she’ll call her dad.
3. Tom Hickey
Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer
This is the man who looks after Ireland’s soccer stars. He ‘looks like he’d rip your head off’, was the assessment of one colleague from behind the couch. And that’s what you want in a good security official, right?
Finishing move: Running headlock through the doors of Malahide’s Grand Hotel.
2. Marty Morrissey
Why? This man would steel-chair you up and down Jones’s Rd if you stood between him and the winning captain of the Leinster hurling final. Born fighter/interviewer.
Finishing move: Steel chair up and down Jones’s Rd, Ger.
1. Roy Keane
Why? Hey it’s an obvious choice but this isn’t Hipster FM’s most obscure Seattle Albums of 2003 is it? Keane is pushing on his years but we reckon time has not dimmed his borderline-sociopathic fighting spirit, raw aggression and lust for the odd scrap. He liked to remind people he ‘did a bit of boxing’ as a kid and has experience chasing Patrick Vieira down tunnels.
Finishing move: The Saipan Shuffle. Obvs.
Who have we forgotten then, fight fans?