19 March 2006

Boxers club together to save seal cubs

Sunday Life

Ciaran McGuigan
19 March 2006

Former World Flyweight champ Dave "Boy" McAuley is hoping to land a knockout blow to cruel seal clubbing.

For the Ulster boxing legend has joined forces with a ring full of former boxing stars to protest at Canada's annual seal cull.

McAuley and past stars of the ring, including John Conteh, Charlie Magri and Alan Minter, gathered in London to add a bit of muscle to the campaign headed by Sir Paul McCartney.

They want to put pressure on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the mass slaughter of seals for their fur on Canada's east coast.

And hotelier McAuley, and the rest of the boxers, were supporting calls for a boycott of Canadian seafood, if the "stone age" culls continued.

McAuley told Sunday Life that he was happy to weigh-in, after being approached by former world middleweight champion Steve Collins.

He told Sunday Life: "As boxers we batter each other, but it's different because we want to do it.

"We have the choice to go into the ring and, if something happens to us, then we will have had the opportunity not to have done it.

"The baby seal about to be clubbed to death has had no choice, either about the fact it is going to be killed, or the manner in which it's killed."

"In this day and age there has to be a more humane way of going about things.

"But it seems that in the 21st century we are still using stone age methods, and that has to be wrong."

During the last three years, almost 1m seals were culled, with almost all of those killed under three months old. Many seal cubs are also skinned alive.

UK Trade Minister Ian Pearson is currently examining if an import ban on seal products would be allowed under World Trade Organisation rules.

It is now almost 17 years since McAuley scaled the heights of professional boxing, winning the IBF World Flyweight belt at Wembley Arena.

He went on to become the first British or Irish fighter to successfully defend a World title five times. He was made MBE in 1992.

But the 45-year-old is considering a major career change.

He still commentates on boxing for RTE and ProBox, but finds that the daily grind of running his Halfway House Hotel in Larne has become too demanding.

He added: "Ideally, I'd like something smaller that doesn't demand work 24-7."

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?