October 6th, 2003 – by Cormac Campbell
Remember Eammon Loughran? The former WBO Welterweight champion from Ballymena, Co. Antrim? It is now over seven years since he walked away from Boxing at the relatively young age of 25, after a stunning first round defeat to Mexico’s Jose Luis Lopez in Liverpool in 1996.
The fight was Loughran’s seventh defence of the WBO title, which he won from Lorenzo Smith in February 1993. Loughran was also a former Commonwealth champ. Many champions have had off nights, or have come across men who just had their number only to come back to achieve bigger and better things, Loughran however, left the game never
to return. So when Darren Corbett introduced me to him at the Brian Magee fight at the Ulster Hall on Saturday night I was more than a little keen to discover what had happened. I found him to be a very genuine and humorous man.
There was no shame in losing to a man like José Luis Lopez, after all he had been in with the likes of Ike Quartey, Yory Boy Campas and James Page, yet you decided to retire, why?
I knew there was no shame in losing to Lopez but even before the fight I had no real love for boxing anymore, so after he beat me I just decided to get out. I earned some good money through my career by fighting regularly on the undercards of the likes of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank, so financially I was OK.
After the recent, sad events involving Frank Bruno there has been much talk about the problems many pro’s face once they retire, how did you deal with this?
This is the first boxing show I’ve been to in years. I’ve so much more in my life than just boxing, I’ve a wife and two children, I’m also involved in
building, buying properties, doing them up and renting them out. I also play golf four times a week and am a member of two clubs.
What’s your handicap?
It was six, but now its back up to thirteen.
Why do you think that so many other fighters have problems after they quit?
Many of them don’t have anything outside of Boxing, some of them are lucky, like Spencer Oliver and Glenn McCrory and end up working on T.V. others aren’t and so they really struggle to adapt. I got out early at twenty five (he’s still only 33!) but guys like Corbett, who I used to spar with, and Magee are still in the game at thirty. I think Brian Magee is doing the right thing by fighting regularly, he’s had something like five fights in the past year, which will help him.
How did the sparring with Darren Corbett go?
(laughing) He was no match for me you go and ask him! But seriously it was good sparring.