Rinty was only able to get a few fights during the war years, but in he resumed his boxing career and soon Monaghan knocked out Eddie 'Bunty' Doran to win the Ulster flyweight title. A packed arena eagerly anticipated the chance for the first Northern Irishman ever to win a boxing crown and when Monaghan knocked Patterson out in the seventh round to become the undisputed World flyweight champion the hall erupted in euphoria. Thousands of caps, hats and programs were thrown into the air. As Patterson was being carried out, the ecstatic fans even tried to storm the ring.
Monaghan later claimed that his pre-fight diet of goat's milk and raw eggs was the secret to his victory. Bonfires were lit in celebration around Belfast, but RInty had another fight on his hands later than evening as he had to fight his way through the huge crowds celebrating his victory outside his home. Monaghan won a few more fights, defending his world title, but he had developed a chronic lung and sinus condition, which in April , forced him to renounce his titles and retire at age He tried to make a comeback a few years later, but he was refused a boxing license and had to hang up his gloves.
Although he made good money from boxing, it did not last long. Generous to a fault, Rinty fell for his neighbors numerous hard luck stories, giving away much of the money he earned in the ring. He went on the road as a singer with a small band, but without the success he had in the ring. Finally, the taxman took his remaining money, forcing him to work as a taxi driver, truck driver and gas station attendant.
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Other men might have been bitter about the passing of their wealth and fame, but Rinty had no complaints and stayed jovial. As he worked his various jobs, people all around Belfast were delighted when they recognized the little ex-boxer with the twinkling eyes, infectious smile and hearty laugh. His famous sense of humor reappeared in when a local radio Station broadcast a false report of his death. More than thirty years passed after his death, but Belfast never forgot the singing flyweight.
A movement started to build a monument to Monaghan. Finally, in The Belfast City Council commissioned a bronze statue of Rinty holding a microphone in his left hand and singing. His right arm is raised in triumph and he is wearing his world title belt.
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