That Time Frank Sheeran Fought a Kangaroo

Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro in The Irishman, says that when he was a young man back from World War II, he struggled so much that he and his friends would “sell our blood for $10 a pint to get some money to keep drinking shots and beer.”

That’s not the crazy part. The crazy part is that one day, after giving blood, he saw a sign for a carnival that promised $100 to any man who could go three rounds with a boxing kangaroo.

“That was a better deal than the blood money we had just made,” he says in the book.

Sheeran offered some great insights into kangaroo fighting, including, “I’m only jabbing at him, because who wants to hurt a kangaroo?” and, “Another thing I didn’t know is that the kangaroo defends itself with its tail. It has an eight-foot tail that comes whipping up behind you when you knock the kangaroo down.”

The story ends happily, in Sheeran’s telling: Sitting in the stands during the kangaroo fight was “a pretty Irish girl,” Mary Leddy, who later became his wife. (The sad part: They later split.)

Frank Sheeran The Irishman kangaroo