IBO champion Pody McCrory facing hand surgery lay-off

Pody McCrory was on a five-fight stoppage streak before he injured his right hand
Pody McCrory was on a five-fight stoppage streak before he injured his right hand

PODY McCrory is facing surgery after a long-standing injury to his right-hand, dating back to October last year when he won the IBO title, has failed to clear up.

The injury has taken the sting out of ‘The Hammer’ and meant he was only able to spar twice in preparation for his 10-rounder against Steed Woodall last month.

Without ever looking his usual self, McCrory caught the Englishman with a hurtful shot in almost every round at Falls Park. But he was unable to exploit the openings he created and says the injury prevented him from preparing the way he wanted to.

He may have the surgery next week and – depending on how quickly his hand heals - he could be letting his hands go again five weeks' later.

“I hurt it in October last year and I’ve been saying it’s okay and telling everybody it’s okay, but it’s come to the point where in my last camp I only sparred twice at the very end of camp to get the rounds in,” he explained.

“I’ve had to heavily wrap my hands for every session. The last fight it was insane, I had to get the padding nearly doubled but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to headline at the Feile.

“It has become a major issue that I need to get sorted. The last four weeks with no punching has definitely helped it, but it hasn’t cured it. There’s a lot of scar tissue in my hand and the doctor thinks something has ruptured.”

McCrory’s win in Germany against Leon Bunn last October was the fifth in a five-fight stoppage run. Since then he has had to go the distance three times but was reluctant to take a break for treatment because, at 35, he felt he had no time to spare.

“I was on a great streak of knocking people out and then I got this injury,” he said.

“I haven’t been able to prepare anywhere near how I wanted to but I’ve kept winning. It was maybe me over-thinking my age and thinking I couldn’t take a couple of weeks off and get it fixed. Looking back on my last couple of performances, the lack of preparation has affected me and, if I move to the next level, I will be caught out if I don’t get it sorted.”

He’s right there. There is talk of a fight with America stars Jermall Charlo and Edgar Berlanga and McCrory would need to be in the shape of his life to tangle with either.

As for what’s next, McCrory says he would be prepared to take on British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Jack Cullen. The Englishman stopped highly-ranked Mark Heffron in Manchester last Saturday night and his name was quickly matched with McCrory’s.

“I would definitely take the Cullen fight and I would love to fight again this year,” said McCrory.

“If it’s on Mick Conlan’s show on the 2nd of December, that’s great, and I would love to get an offer to fight in the States as well. People say to me all the time: ‘Why don’t you fight in the States?’ But it’s not up to me, if I could, I would but I’m at the mercy of the promoters.”