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‘Can’t go out on that performance’ – Graham McCormack on the big stage after son convinced him not to retire

Out of the mouth of babes.

Graham McCormack would not find himself just days shy of a dream big stage appearance but for some straight talking from his youngest son, Dylan.

The Limerick southpaw populates the biggest card in world boxing this weekend when he takes on Matchroom prospect George Liddard on the massive Taylor-Catterall card in Leeds on Saturday night.

It’s a bit of a pinch-yourself moment for a late starter with a storied past and a moment that may not have come around if his son hadn’t pinched him with some harsh words.

‘G Train’ was seriously considering retirement after he drew with battle-hardened journeyman Octavian Gratii at the Red Cow earlier this year.

However, ‘D Train’ delivered some home truths, wasn’t going to let his father feel sorry for himself, and certainly wasn’t going to allow him to call it a day on the back of such a performance.

“I was thinking of calling it a day after that performance but then when I went home my small fella, Dylan said ‘don’t’,” McCormack tells Irish-boxing.com.

“He said ‘you can’t go out on that performance’. Well, the first thing he said was ‘Dad that was a terrible performance the worst I’ve seen you box’, which is true, and in fairness, Shaun [Kelly] said that too. I’d rather hear the truth.

“Everyone who knows me knows that’s not me. I’m a good fighter and when I’m on it 100 percent I’m a hard night’s work for anybody.

“I boxed shit and I feel like for myself, my young fella, all my kids, and my team, I owe it to go out and show what I am about.”

The ever-entertaining and even more honest, Ian Gaughran managed lefty will look to show what he is about against rising star George Liddard.

With a fight with Grant Dennis already booked in for after his Munster mash-up, there is a suggestion the British fighter could be overlooking McCormack.

The performance against Gratti almost certainly made the Matchroom matchmakers see him as a safe bet. However, the 37-year-old, who saw a BBBofC title fight fall through yet again earlier in the month, warns against reading too much into that performance.

He says he wasn’t himself that night, wasn’t up for the fight and got things physically and mentally wrong, all issues he addressed in the lead in to this fight.

“Let’s not sugar coat it I boxed sh*t. I boxed terribly. People know I don’t make excuses. I boxed terribly. I didn’t perform on the night. I didn’t feel good mentally and it hindered my performance,” he says reflecting on the draw.

“In fairness to Gratti, he came over and gave it a go. He isn’t one of those journeymen who come over, hands up and takes a bating.

“No disrespect to any journeyman because without journeymen there is no boxing and some of them are unbelievable fighters, but at this stage of my career, I’ve won a title I feel I’m past four rounders and I just couldn’t get up for it.

“I just wasn’t in the mood for the fight and when you are not up for it he’s the guy that will come try to take your head off. But again there is no one to blame but myself,” he adds before revealing he addressed the main issue in the build up to the drawn bout.

“I said you either change things around or retire after the draw.

“It’s no secret diet has always been the hard part for me. I got a boxing nutritionist from England Liam Williams who works with professional fighters and it changed things completely.”


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