Boxing

"My big goal is to be able to say that I bought a house from boxing," says Padraig McCrory

Padraig McCrory v Gabore Detre at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast. Picture Mark Marlow.
Andy Watters

PADRAIG McCrory will fight Portsmouth-based Nigerian Eric Mwankwo on the undercard of Ryan Burnett versus Jelbirt Gomera at the Ulster Hall on May 17.

Unbeaten super-middleweight McCrory was originally due to face Darryl Sharp on the bill but Sharp’s handlers refused to send their man in against the “top prospect” unless he was being paid top dollar. He pulled out and Mwankwo (3-1) has stepped in.

“He’s a big strong guy and he’ll come to knock me out but I’ll get the job done,” said McCrory who progressed to 7-0 as a pro with a points success over Santos Medrano in March.

“The Hall is a great venue and it was a brilliant night in March but I was a bit disappointed with my performance (against Medrano). I’ve watched the fight back and I think I got better every round.

“I was looking for a big knockout because the guy was so small but I think it was a good learning fight for me and I think I’ll keep getting better, building the fitness and building the rounds.”

Standing 6'1", former Ulster Elite champion McCrory is a well-organised, skilful fighter and if he gets the fights he needs he should carve out a successful career. He has been getting some quality sparring at Emerald ABC against cruiserweights Tommy McCarthy and Dee Sullivan. He schedules training in between his two jobs and his increasing family commitments.

“I work two jobs and my son Fiachra is 16 months and I have another baby on the way in September, so I’m a busy man,” said ‘the Hammer’.

“I work as a fitness instructor and I’m part-time in security as well so I do around 40 hours-a-week. If I get a couple of good fights and good wins I’m hoping to drop one job anyway.

“I’m 30 now, I always wanted a family and my wife works hard and helps me. I dropped my full-time job down to part-time so I could focus more on the boxing and that has helped loads.

“One day I hope to get to a level where I can go full-time boxing. As an amateur I feel like I didn’t do what I should have, I was in and out of boxing, I stopped for four-and-a-half years, but since I signed pro just over two years ago I’ve been training hard and I feel like I’m a million times better.

“Going pro was the best move that I’ve made because I changed as a fighter, my whole attitude changed and I started taking boxing seriously and now I feel like a whole new fighter.

“My big goal is to be able to say that I bought a house from boxing. In terms of titles, I would love to get to European level or to get to world level would be great. At the minute I’m setting small goals in terms of Irish level and once I reach that goal I’ll look at something else.”

After The Ulster Hall, McCrory has his sights set on the, as yet-unconfirmed, Michael Conlan-headlined bill at Feile an Phobail at the Falls Park in August. Possible opponents include Craig McCarthy, Taylor McGoldrick and Darren Cruise.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

TOMMY McCarthy is the latest addition to the ‘Summer Brawl’ card at the Europa Hotel on Saturday, May 18.

McCarthy is looking to rebuild his career following his shock loss to big punching Richard Riakporhe in March.

“Tommy is still well rated in the British ratings and knows he could well be back in the mix for a shot at the British title if he can string together a run of good victories and knows there is no room for error as he looks to impress at the Europa,” said manager Mark Dunlop.

The line-up also includes former world title challenger and multiple champion James Tennyson, Cathy McAleer, Irish champion Feargal McCrory and Dublin’s exciting Victor Rabei.

Tickets: £80 VIP (Including 4 course meal) £50 (ringside), £45 (unreserved), £40 (reserved), telephone 07712473905 or email mark@mhdpromotions.com

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

ANDY Ruiz junior has pledged to “show the world what I can do” when he takes on Anthony Joshua on June 1.

Ruiz was plucked from obscurity to replace Jarrell Millar who had failed a drugs test and who himself had been given a shot at Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBF and WBO heavyweight titles only because the Watford man had been unable to secure a fight against either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

"This is a lifetime opportunity,” said the California whose only loss was against former Joshua opponent Joseph Parker in New Zealand.

“It's my second chance to make history, to make my dreams come true. It couldn't happen any better than now. I just fought April 20. I'm sharp, I'm prepared. We don't have to start a new training camp, it just keeps going.

"I'm just really excited for June 1. Everybody is underestimating me in just the way that I look, but I have heart, I throw a lot of punches. I'm going to show the world what I am and what I can do. I'm going to prove everybody wrong. I'm going to bring those belts back to Mexico."

Hearn said when it came to picking a new opponent for Joshua, he wanted to make sure there would be a "real fight" on June 1.

"I'm a promoter but I'm also a fan. I didn't want to bring Anthony Joshua to Madison Square Garden to walk into a ring knowing we can't lose. Knowing it's going to go two rounds. Knowing it was an opponent coming for the money, not one who is trying to fight for his family, his legacy, for history.

"A couple of guys reached out to me that made me feel, you want it.

"But this man to my left (Ruiz Jr) was really the one that sent me those messages and I watched him in interviews and I thought, you know what? This guy really wants it."

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SAUL 'Canelo' Alvarez added the IBF middleweight world title to his WBC and WBA belts with a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

The Mexican moved up a division to beat Englishman Rocky Fielding inside three rounds last year, becoming a three-weight world champion, but returned to 160 pounds to face Jacobs for the unified world middleweight titles.

Having drawn with Gennady Golovkin in their first bout in 2017, Alvarez beat the Kazakhstan fighter last September, and says is open to a third bout against ‘Triple G’.

"I'm just looking for the biggest challenge and I want that to be my biggest fight,” he said.

"For me, we're done, but if he wants to do it again, I'll beat him again."

Jacobs admitted that a slow start had set him back last Saturday night.

"He's a tremendous champion, I take my hat off to him," he said.

"I definitely think it took me a couple of rounds to get my wits about me.

"I feel like I gave enough to get the victory, but I've got to go back to the tapes and see what happened."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Boxing

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: