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Eclectic exhibit takes intimate look at Irish fighters

During the turn of the 19th century, Irish fighters epitomized the national struggle. Boxers were climbing into the ring in search of more than just titles: They were acting out their ability to absorb pain in order to triumph, writes Don Stradley.

Originally Published: May 27, 2008
By Don Stradley | Special to ESPN.com

A favorite bit of boxing folklore involves the time Peter Maher fought Tom Sharkey in 1897 at New York's Lenox Club.

In the audience sat an old Irishman, a supporter of Maher from Galway, Ireland. He told everyone within earshot that Maher would need only one punch to "knock Sharkey kicking." When the announcer introduced Maher as a fighter from Galway, Ireland, the old man smiled proudly and waved his Irish flag high over his head.

When Sharkey was introduced as a fighter from ...

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