SADNESS descended upon the boxing community as news broke that Pat Magee lost his battle with illness on Friday morning.

A legendary figure on the local scene, the long-time businessman would delve into boxing management in the 1990s, having long been a fan of the sweet science, going on to guide the fortunes of a host of fighters at various stages including Brian Magee (no relation), Tommy McCarthy, Anthony Cacace, Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Kiko Martinez, plus Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym - the man who dethroned Bernard Dunne of the WBA super-bantamweight title.

Yet it was his namesake, Brian, for whom Pat would be most closely tied, steering the Poleglass southpaw to world title opportunities and acting as a port of call for media, while helping with accommodation and tickets for those who made the trip for the away days against the likes of Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Lucien Bute.

The former fighter reflected on the passing of his former manager and mentor as someone who was more like family, with their bond much deeper than merely sharing the same surname.

"Pat and me go back to when I was 12 years old and he sponsored a pair of boxing gloves for me, so we'd a long history," said Brian.

"He treated me like I was another son and his family took me under their wing. 

"He was a true boxing man and he did so much for me. I'd owe him a lot as he was my manager from start to finish. You don't get many like that in boxing who would be with you the entire time and then remain good friends after it's over, so that was a credit to what kind of man he was.

"I was looking through old photographs of winning the British title, European title and world titles, and Pat was always there on my shoulder.

"We had some adventures travelling around the world with boxing and Pat would have looked after everybody who came along. The girls (Brian's partner, Catherine and her sister) would have called him 'Daddy Pat' despite him having a job to do himself."

Boxing coach and close friend, Harry Hawkins, is a man who had known Pat from the early days and who, along with John Rooney, helped persuade him to enter the world of boxing management when Atlanta Olympian, Magee, was considering a move into the paid ranks.

He was familiar with his boxing namesake having watched him win gold at the Muhammad Ali Cup in 1997, beating Jeff Lacey in the final of the tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Impressed with what he had seen, he was only too happy to get behind the Belfast southpaw, acting as manager.

"Pat was like an encyclopaedia when it came to boxing," said boxing trainer and friend, Harry Hawkins.

"Any big world title fights going back to the '80s like Benn-Eubank, he and 'JR' (John Rooney) would be over at ringside.

"When Brian was thinking of going pro, JR mentioned that Pat - who had been in America at the time - was coming back home and could be interested.

"He was a great help and knew how to negotiate with businessmen. All of the promoters back then: Barry Hearn, Frank Moloney, Panos Eliades and Frank Warren all had the greatest respect for him as he conducted business in a gentlemanly way.

"He always made sure his fights got as much as they were entitled to - he was a great man to work with."