“I fucked up!”
It’s honest and straight from ‘forgotten man’ Declan Geraghty when asked what he thinks when he sees previous opponents James Tennyson and Jono Carroll secure world title fights with IBF super featherweight world champion Tevin Farmer.
Upon reflection, the Dubliner’s defeats to the Belfast fighter in early 2017 and his second reverse to Carroll in an anticipated rematch back in June of last were were sliding doors moments.
Both victories set his fellow Irish fighters on a path that would ultimately to a world title challenge, Tennyson came out second best against Farmer in last October, while Carroll has the chance to secure Irish revenge this St Patrick’s weekend.
Most fighters would sing the no regrets line or make the ‘that’s boxing’ quip when pushed on the matter, but Geraghty honestly admits ‘it’s a blow’ and even went as far as to suggest he messed up what he now knows were two massive chances.
“To be honest, I do think ‘that could have been me’ if I beat Jono or Tenny. It’s not hard to admit that but it’s hard to think about it sometimes. Listen I still think there are big things for me in boxing, but I’ll be honest I fucked up. It’s a blow especially knowing these lads are good lads, but not better. Things could have been different.”
Things were certainly meant to be different for ‘Pretty Boy’. He had a far superior amateur career to both and, when he first turned over. there were some predicting he was going to become a star of Dublin.
Not being allowed to fight in Dublin over the last while may have hampered that to some degree and didn’t allow him to build slowly.
However, those defeats were major set backs and they are reverses Geraghty struggles to understand.
The confident southpaw claims there are times he feels like a real world beater.
In sparring he feels untouchable and his skill is there for everyone to see, yet in the two biggest fights of his career he couldn’t translate that when it was crunch time in the ring.
Asked why that is the 28-year=old couldn’t find an answer.
“Boxing wise no one laces my gloves. There just must be a few things lacking, but I don’t know what it is.
“People always say people with my style haven’t the guts and people have questioned my balls, but I knew I had them. After Jono fight people couldn’t say that anymore. I showed that I have balls then. I’d preferred to have being sparked out than quit and I didn’t quit I went out on my feet. Don’t get me wrong there were times I wanted to go down, but there was no way I was going to,” he adds.
“I don’t know what I am lacking. I spar and I batter people and box the ears off them. That’s not me being cocky it’s just how it is. Something must be missing?”
“I know it’s not balls and it’s definitely not skills. Maybe it’s something to do with the weight? I don’t know. My Da thinks maybe I am not doing everything 100 percent by the book. I train hard, but maybe I am out too late some times? I don’t know, but I am going to try get things right.”
If he was to fight Tennyson or Carroll again the two weight National Elite champion believes things could be different. He claims a fight with former European champ ‘The Assassin’ would go his way, but admits he would have to change things up for a ‘King Kong’ sequel.
“When people compared me to Jono Tennyson on paper they expected me to beat them both them and people predicted I would fight for world titles. Credit to the lads they beat me and went on to get big fights, but I didn’t go into those fights thinking ‘I could lose here’.”
“If I fought Tennyson I’d beat him. No disrespect to him, but I know what I did wrong that night. I got caught by two big shots, but shots I knew to look out for. If I fought Jono I’d have to do things different, maybe a different style. Jono worked me down, things did go wrong in camp, but the better man won. I don’t think Tenny was better than me overall, but on the night he beat me. I could beat Jono but I’d have to change things. Tenny I know I’d beat.”