Clara Copely ( - 1949):
Clara Copley came from a circus family and lived in a Romany caravan, which was sold after her death to a farmer who lived in it in preference to his own house. She had a boxing booth, and later a wooden hall on Chapel Fields in Belfast where boxing tournaments took place. Ma Copley (as she was popularly known) began her career in the 1930s when there was no work and young men were willing to fight for the chance of winning money. One of these was Rinty Monaghan, who became fly-weight champion of the world when he knocked out Jackie Patterson at the King's Hall in 1948. Others were Bunty Doran, who became Irish champion; Tommy Armour, who knocked out the British champion Eric Boon; and Jimmy Warnock, who beat the world fly-weight champion, Benny Lynch. It was said of Clara Copley, 'she was a woman in a man's world - the world of prize fighting'.