Ciaran McVarnock back on the title trail following nightmare camp


Ciaran McVarnock [10(3)-0-1] overcame a sizeable weight disadvantage, 18 months out of the ring, and a nightmare camp to register his tenth pro win at the weekend.

The New Lodge featherweight made his return on the Boxing Ireland Promotions ‘Celtic Clash 8’ bill at the Devenish Complex and overcame Alec Bazza in one of the fights of the night.

McVarnock posted a 40-38 win following a four-round all-Belfast brawl, being dragged into the trenches early on but allowing his boxing to win out in the end.

Afterwards ‘Bunty’ would reveal that he was severely compromised going into the ring, with both injury and ring rust meaning that he had to bite down hard to grind out the win – his first since linking up with Gerry Storey Jr and Sr at Holy Family GG.

McVarnock told Irish-Boxing.com that “this training camp – it’s been the worst I’ve had but that’s no disrespect to my new trainers.”

“My third day into training I got a broken rib and I haven’t been sparring. I struggled through it and you could see the ring rust in there because I couldn’t spar and get rid of it.”

“I also get blisters on my foot [so I couldn’t run] and I was stuck on a bike trying to keep the weight down.”

“It was the worst training camp I’ve had but I’m just happy to be back again.”

In terms of the bout itself, McVarnock again proved that he is always in exciting fights.

The 27-year-old admitted that “I’m over the moon.”

“That was a tough opponent. He weighed in nine pound heavier than me and you could feel the difference in there. He hit me with two or three shots and you could feel the difference in weight.”

“To be honest, the last thing I should have done was have a tear-up but it’s always in me – I love a fight and I like to please the fans.”

“All respect to Alec Bazza. They’re the kind of fights I want.”

Back in the groove, McVarnock is keen to step it up now and he foresees big domestic fights in the near future.

The Ulster slugger outlined how “I’ve improved, I know I’ve improved – but I’m still learning, I’m still picking things up.”

“I’m happy with the Storeys and how they’re drilling things into me, I can’t wait to get a full training camp. I’m hoping that my sponsors will be able to come together to allow me to train full-time, fingers crossed.”

“I probably won’t be out until September because the boxing season is over in July and August – but if I could fight next month I would, it all depends.”

“My next fight will be at super featherweight and I’ll be at featherweight by the end of the year. I want a title shot by the end of the year, that’s where I’m looking at going.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]