The Dublin light middleweight got in contact with Irish-Boxing.com to confirm that he is ready and willing to do battle with his Limerick counterpart but does not believe that McCormack’s call-outs have been genuine.
A fight which has been talked about in private for over six months now, McCormack [5(1)-0] went public in July with a respectful call to arms.
The Garryowen southpaw told Irish-Boxing.com how “I have nothing but respect for Cillian Reardon and I’ll never say anything bad about him, but the fight makes sense,” he tells Irish-Boxing.com full of excitement whilst trying to keep a respectful tone.”
“I am pretty sure our records are similar. We are a similar age. We turned over the same time. It’s an entertaining fight, we both sell tickets, it’s Limerick versus Dublin,” he continues at 100 miles an hour.
“Again I have nothing against him, but I’ll beat him all day long and in a month of Sundays. I am looking forward to it. I know he’ll bring it and you can be sure I’ll bring it. It will definitely be a fight for the fans.”
While he didn’t respond at the time, Reardon [5(0)-0] has become compelled to speak out as negotiations for the clash have stallled.
Giving his side of the story the Stillorgan puncher outlined how “myself and Graham were scheduled to fight on March 30th on that National Stadium show [Clash of the Titans].”
“That was done and we were due to meet there but he pulled out with about five weeks to go with a damaged hand. At the time that was fair enough – although you could turn around a damaged hand in five weeks if you’re really interested in taking a fight – but I know that within 10 days he was in sparring Dylan Moran.”
McCormack would still fight on the bill, defeating Jade Karam over six rounds while Reardon beat Istvan Szucs over four after a fight with Jordan Latimer fell through.
Reardon notes how “to me, it looked like he didn’t want to take the fight but I let it slide.”
“Then I was teeing up to fight him in London [The Irish Invasion] but that didn’t happen for whatever reason [McCormack pulled out due to an injury].”
“Then before his fight in Cork [Leeside Revolution] he said his next fight should be me. Now it’s come back around to me and I’m looking to get him back in the ring. There’s an offer on the table and, initially, his team were making all the right noises but once the question has gone to him, it’s gone silent again.”
“He hasn’t said no, but he’s certainly not jumping at the chance. In the context of everything that’s gone before, it makes me suspicious.”
Reardon has not been impressed with what he feels is a contradiction between McCormack’s words and his actions.
“My interpretation of things is that he doesn’t want the fight,” the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter continued.
“What’s making me speak out is the continuous social media campaign where he is saying that he wants to fight me. I don’t know wht to do.”
“Owen Duffy also try to get him but, ostensibly, he ducked that as well.”
“You can’t sign up to something just so you can have your next Twitter post but, when it comes time to pay the piper, you’ve no interest in getting in the ring.”
The 31-year-old does not demand that every boxer is a ‘fight anyone, anywhere, anytime’ merchant but is keen to secure clarity.
Reardon explained how “I’m very respectful of the idea that you’re entitled to manage your career, you’re entitled to pick fights, take them at the right time.”
“…And if he was just not taking the fight, that would be okay – but you can’t not take the fight and have the social media and media activity that he has had. Those two things, you can’t have together. What that shows is that he’s not actually acting in good faith.”
“When you continuously duck fights, you take opportunities out of other boxers’ hands. It actually matters,” he states before surveying the effect on the Irish domestic 154lbs division.
“He has a decent record, I have a decent record, and there are a couple of other guys there looking to put themselves in position to fight for a BUI Celtic title or something like that – and at some point we’re going to have to start knocking each other off.”
“Make your position clear, either you’re willing to participate and you can get into that process or step aside and me, Owen Duffy, and Eddie Treacy can get on with it – that’s my thought on it.”
“If you want to continue on, fight journeymen and build your record, build your experience, that’s fine – but step aside and come back in a year or so.”
“I want my career to move forward. Verbally, he’s made out that he’s part of that pathway but it looks like he might not be. Let me know so I can make my own decision.”
In terms of predicting what would happen in the proposed match-up, which would seem a perfect fight for the eight-round BUI Celtic title, Reardon was not particularly drawn and just wants to get McCormack in the ring.
The Leinster Rugby S&C coach described how “I think I’d win that fight but that’s kind of secondary. Ninety percent of the time, most boxers go into most fights thinking that they’re going to win – and 100 percent of the time one of them is wrong!”
“It’s okay to be wrong but it’s not okay to not show up for a fight that you say you want. You lose some respect if you carry on your business in the way which he has.”
“Ideally, I’d like it to be for the BUI Celtic, at the very least an eliminator for it. In reality, whether it is for a title or not, one of us is going to truck on and the other will have to take a backwards step. That’s just the nature of it.”
“Serious and meaningful fights, that’s what I want. He says that I’d be a good next fight for him – I think he’s right, and I think he’s a good next fight for me. People would like to see it on both sides, lets get it on.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)