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Sean O’ Grady was born February 10, 1959 in Austin, Texas. The son of boxing trainer Pat O’ Grady and boxing promoter Jean O’ Grady, Sean moved around a lot when he was young, but his family settled in Oklahoma City when he was 11 years old. In addition to being a former world champion, O’ Grady is also a college graduate, boxing analyst, television personality, actor and former teen idol across the United States Midwest. In the middle of his boxing career, Sean was popular among teen girls around his area, and it wasn’t uncommon to see teenaged females from Oklahoma and its adjacent states wearing Sean O’ Grady T-shirts or anything else related to him. Because of this, he earned the nickname Bubble Gum Sean.
O’ Grady started boxing professionally in 1975. In 1980, he had his first world title try, when the WBC gave him a shot at their world Lightweight championship. O’ Grady travelled to Scotland and faced world champion Jim Watt, only to sustain a cut early in the bout and lose by a technical knockout in round 12. The O’ Gradys protested the fight’s result, arguing that the cut had been caused by a headbutt, not a punch. Because of the controversy surrounding the fight, the world’s other leading boxing body of the time, the WBA, took O’ Grady into consideration and gave Sean a second try at becoming world champion, this time against the WBA’s world champion, Emanuel Steward trained Hilmer Kenty, on April 12 of 1981. O’ Grady again suffered a cut early in the bout, but he dropped Kenty in round eight and won a unanimous decision, to become a world champion. The fight was one of the ten best fights of 1981, according to Ring Magazine.
O’ Grady was stripped of his title about six months after he became champion, because of not defending it. But Pat O’ Grady then formed the little regarded (and very short lived) WAA, to recognize Sean as a champion. This title did not mean much to most of the boxing world, and O’ Grady promptly lost it, to Andy Ganigan of Hawaii.
After that fight, he retired from boxing, and has been able to stay retired ever since. However, O’ Grady did not leave the public eye after his career as a boxer was over. If anything, he became more noticeable to the public. Soon, he signed a contract with the USA Network to be a television broadcaster. He covered all types of boxing fights there until 1994, when their show, USA Tuesday Night Fights, decided to have a curtain call. He then went on to broadcast fights with Fox Sports Network, and he lent his voice for the video game, Knockout Kings. In 1999, he started appearing as a color commentator on the Toughman TV show at the F/X channel. He also has an instructional video named “How to Box by Sean O’ Grady,” and in 1992, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
O’ Grady had a final ring record of 81 wins and 5 losses, with 70 wins by knockout, making him a member of the exclusive group of boxers with 50 or more career knockout wins.