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Craig McCarthy plans to take ‘Sexy’ Irish title path rather than Rematch Route

 Craig McCarthy [10(1)-1(1)-1] has set his sights on an Irish title fight with Jay Byrne [10(2)-8(2)] after claiming the BUI super middleweight Celtic title on an emotionally charged night in Waterford last weekend.

The all-Irish formula delivered fireworks yet again as the Deise fighter and Graham McCormack [8(1)-3(1)] produced a tight tense title tussle at the SETU Arena.

Indeed, such was the nature of the battle and the entertainment it provided, that many among the neutrals were calling for a rematch before the pair had time to get out the ring.

There were instant suggestions ‘Built2Last’ and ‘GTrain’ could dance again for a bigger prize, the Irish title, ala Jamie Morrissey and Kevin Cronin.

However, while McCarthy, who completed a comeback from a double leg break to eventually claim a first career title, does have Irish title plans, he is eying up a different dance partner.

The 35-year-old Munster man plans to fight Dubliner, Byrne for the green strap.

“Me and Jay Byrne for 10 rounds, Irish title, that is tasty. It’s a sexy fight and it will be a great fight,” McCarthy told Irish-boxing.com post the win.

“Please God we can make that in Waterford if Neil [Power] can work his magic and Mel [Christle of the BUI] sanctions it.”

Limerick’s McCormack was visibly upset with Saturday’s result and let his anger be known backstage as well as online post the fight.

McCarthy refuted the return-eager former BUI Celtic middleweight champ’s complaints with regard to what he felt was a knockdown that wasn’t scored and tactical gum shield spitting out among other things.

In fact, the Waterford side of the domestic rivalry appeared both bemused and angered by the claims.

“He got very sour, he was very disrespectful at the end of the fight, why would you do that, that’s a sore loser. Where’s your gratitude, we are fighting men, it’s just nonsense.

“I can’t understand it. I know I won and he knows he lost, so why is he getting so sour about it. That’s bulsh*t, it’s disrespectful, there are no words for that, that’s not a man, that’s a sore loser. I’ve respect for him as a fighter but he’s a sore loser.”

Mutual respect is the preferred post-fight behavior but such tension is perfect rematch sauce.

However, the St Paul’s BC graduate sees no reason for a repeat, taking a win and on to the next approach.

“I’m moving on,” he adds quite adamantly.

“I’ve just called out Jay Byrne. I’m successful now and I’m moving on. I’ve got this [BUI Celtic title] and I’m moving on. I’m upgrading, that’s what we do, we get success, we upgrade and we update.”

Such was the noise surrounding the entertaining fight and the aftermath that there was a lot of next-move talk, but McCarthy did take time to reflect on what he achieved – and when he did he smiled blissfully.

“I’m so happy, I’m so grateful, I put everything into this. I’m emotional. It’s blissful. It feels amazing.

“I was going to retire but I’ve so much more to give.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years