Born and bred in Dublin, Big Joe, as he is affectionately known, got his first ring baptism of fire when he fought the national junior champion Steve Collins. In Joe’s second fight against Collins he proved that he’d come on in leaps and bounds. By the age of 24 he had recorded over 80 wins, 7 Irish titles and he was a Golden Gloves Champion. Joe fought 11 times wearing the green vest of Ireland and he attracted even more attention when he went the distance with Lennox Lewis and beat the future WBA champion Bruce Seldon. The fight had it all and enthralled those at the ringside.
Joe was encouraged by Floyd Patterson to try his luck in the USA, so Joe joined Mike Tyson‘s training camp in the Catskill mountains with the great Cus D’Amato. Joe became like a brother to Mike Tyson, who once said of Joe after a particularly vicious sparring session, that Joe was the Toughest White Man on the Planet. The two became the firmest of friends.
Joe’s dreams of continuing as a boxer were cruelly shattered when he was forced to quit following a serious road accident on the night of his second pro fight.
In May 2004, after an absence of 12 years, Big Joe Egan made his ring comeback at 38 years old. In 2008, Joe broke into acting and was asked personally by Guy Ritchie to appear as himself “Big Joe Egan” in Ritchie’s new film; Sherlock Holmes (2009).
Joe still is involved in the world of boxing to the very day with involvement in Boxing Clubs, Events and attends Fights.