Irish boxer Barry McGuigan, who has worked to reconcile Protestants and Catholics, has been placed under armed police protection because of death threats from Catholic militants angry that he took out British citizenship, published reports said.
A police spokesman in Belfast confirmed that McGuigan, 24, who won the World Boxing Assn. featherweight title from Eusebio Pedroza in June, has been threatened, but the spokesman refused to make further comment.
Newspapers in Britain reported that McGuigan, who has become a symbol of reconciliation by winning fans on both sides in divided Northern Ireland, had been warned that he would be shot.
McGuigan, who lives across the border in the Irish Republic but trains in the north, gave up his Irish citizenship. He took out British nationality so he could compete for British titles and thus qualify for world-class fights.