Long Beach pro boxer "Irish" Seanie Monaghan to face Barrera in ‘do or die’ bout

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Long Beach’s own “Irish” Seanie Monaghan sparred with his trainer Joe Higgins at the Freeport PAL on Oct. 19.
Courtesy Main Events

Although professional boxer “Irish” Seanie Monaghan hasn’t fought in a year, he’s been keeping busy in the ring and training regularly for what he described as the most important fight of his career on Nov. 3.

“I’ve been in the gym the whole time,” the 36-year-old light heavyweight said on Oct. 19, after he finished a rigorous training and sparring session at the Freeport PAL, where he has put in the work for 17 years. “Even though it was a long layoff, it has still been a productive year. I got a lot better just being in the gym all this time and working this whole time.”

Last November, the Long Beach resident and father of two children defeated fighter Evert Bravo at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a victory that came on the heels of Monaghan’s first and only professional career loss to Marcus Browne in July 2017.

“I have boxing skills,” said Monaghan, who began his professional career in 2010 and went on to clinch the North American Boxing Organization and WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight titles. “I use them in the gym all the time, but when I get in the fight, I always feel compelled to go brawl. There is another way to do things. I am smart enough. I am trying to box more and get hit a little bit less. I have reached a new level of maturity.”

Now, Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) is looking to defeat Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) at Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports and Events Center. The 10-round fight, promoted by Main Events, is the main event and will be streamed live on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page beginning at 9 p.m.

“This fight is do or die for both of our careers,” Monaghan said. “We both know what time it is. Me and Barrera have been talking trash to each other on Twitter for a while. We both respect each other but it is going to be two dogs with one piece of meat. I’ve got to feed my kids and he does too, so may the best man win.”

In March, Barrera suffered a 12th-round knockout loss at the hands of world titleholder Dmitry Bivol, but is still ranked fourth by the WBC in the competitive light heavyweight division. According to ESPN, Barrera and Monaghan were initially scheduled to headline the bout in August, but it was postponed after Barrera suffered an injury during training.

“Barrera is the man,” Monaghan said. “He’s probably the most dangerous guy right below world champion level there is. His only two losses were to world champions, and he took them to deep water and gave them a hard time.”

“This is a giant test for me,” he added. “The winner moves on to big things and the loser, you know it’s not looking good for them. We’re both in the same boat and we’re both looking for the same thing, so it’s going to be a battle.”

“The great thing about Seanie is that he lives clean,” said Monaghan’s trainer, the renowned boxing coach Joe Higgins. “He’s never not training. The good thing about Seanie is that when we start with camp, it’s not like he’s coming from doing nothing for two months.”

Monaghan’s manager, PJ Kavanagh, said that a win could lead to a shot at the world title.

“Seanie knows how important it is for both of them,” Kavanagh said. “He has the same hunger at this stage of his career he always has. He comes to fight.”

Of course, hundreds of “Team Monaghan” supporters are expected to turn out for the headline event.

“We’re going to have a great atmosphere, a great time,” Kavanagh said. “Seanie loves the hometown crowd. We are very excited about Facebook live streaming this. It’s great for the sport. You’ll have people watching this worldwide. Seanie has a tremendous following in Ireland.”

Tickets ranging from $50 to $125 are on sale and available through Eventbrite or by calling or emailing Main Events at (973) 200-7050 and boxing@mainevents.com. Tickets are also available at the Saloon and Scout Design Shop in Long Beach. Call (516) 432-9185 and (516) 432-0208 for more information.