Ciaran McVarnock reveals “point blank refusal” of offer to face Olympian

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Ciaran McVarnock [7(1)-0-1] is back in the ring tomorrow night in Manchester.

‘Bunty’ boxes Tyrone journeyman Ben Mulligan in an all-Irish clash on an MTK show at the Wythenshawe Forum, but reveals he was close to a fight with a big name just last week.

The 25 year old Belfast feather is continuing his development under trainer Arnie Farnell as he looks to get busy following an early career plagued by inactivity. However, were it not for a poor financial offer, McVarnock was confident about getting in the ring with Olympian Joe Murray.

McVarnock told that “Joe Murray was a fight I asked for for last weekend but, when negotiations went on and the final offer came back to me, it was a point blank refusal.”

“The money I was offered was a disgrace. Moving up two weights to do a 10 rounder and I’d not even done six yet – against someone who, on paper considering what they have done as an amateur and a pro, should destroy me – and they offered me money like that, it was shocking.”

“It’s a fight I strongly, strongly believe I will win. No bad blood. But, as I’ve said, I’m not that weight and I’m in no rush.”

His journey picks up again tomorrow in Manchester, a relatively rapid return to the ring. By comparison, McVarnock had less than a round’s worth of action in almost a year and a half ahead of his previous fight – a four-round domination of Antonio Horvatic in March.

McVarnock noted how “it was great to get the comeback out of the way after a frustrating load of months, well it was actually over a year. Probably my hardest time in and out of boxing if I’m honest.”

“March was fantastic. MTK promised me I would fight at home more often and they delivered it my first fight with them. I asked can I fight on this Manchester show and once again MTK have delivered.”

The New Lodge boxer wants to build on this win, which was one of the most impressive performances on the inaugural Ginley Promotions card.

“The Belfast win has brought back the spark,” he stated. “Now it’s time to make that a lot bigger.”

“In March you could tell when I was in there that I was rusty. If I’m honest it was actually too easy at the same time and I couldn’t get out of first gear. But it was a great comeback fight and the perfect opponent I needed to shrug off the ring rust and I am happy with how it went”

“MTK are doing a great job with me. They have a road laid out for me, all I can do is fight when told and make sure I’m ready for it .

“My time will come and whether it’s a domestic fight this year or next year I don’t mind, I’ll keep my head down train and see what MTK have got to offer.”

“Training leading up to this fight has been amazing. My sponsor Composite Wood company has helped me out massively leading up to this fight and to be honest I can’t thank them enough.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: