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Isaac O’Neil Weir (later known as The Belfast Spider) was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland on February 5, 1867. Like many young Irish lads he studied for the priesthood at an early age. But Ike soon discovered that his true calling was not to be a “man of the cloth”, but an athlete. He had tremendous natural ability and excelled at just about any sport he tried. He found that he especially enjoyed boxing and soon left for England to engage in some competitions he’d heard about. There and at the tender age of sixteen he won several contests, many against fighters some twenty pounds heavier than he. His abilities soon came to the attention of Alf Greenfield, a respected professional who once had a claim as Heavyweight Champion of England. Alf had gone to America the previous year to do battle with John L. Sullivan and saw clearly how Sullivan had changed the face of prizefighting there. It was now considered a more “respectable” profession where a boxer could make a great deal of money, especially one of Weir’s ability. Ike was encouraged to head for Sullivan’s hometown of Boston with Greenfield’s blessing.
Ike Weir 1867 to 1908 a native of castle lane Lurgan featherweight boxing champion of the world . in 1889 he fought an 80 round match to a draw - the longest world championship bout ever fought under queensbury rules