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Craig McCarthy reveals he suffered a broken leg on Sky stage

‘I never get it easy,’ quips Craig McCarthy from his hospital bed.

That certainly appears to be the case when you consider the Saturday night the Waterford favourite had.

McCarthy’s massive breakthrough chance on a platform he had fought all his life to get onto was ruined by some massive Bradley Rea punching.

Then to add injury to insult the 34-year-old southpaw suffered a bad leg break upon hitting the canvas.

“I got caught cold. I didn’t get a chance to get going. Then when I went down I broke my leg in two places. I’m only kinda coming around after surgery. I’ve plates and pins and a big screw through the whole leg and ankle. When I was sitting down coming around on the canvas the first words out of my mouth were ‘I think my leg is broken’,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.

“I never get it easy! F*ck it! From the biggest stage possible and higher than a mountain to surgery.”

It may be the morphine or strong pain killers but McCarthy was in an upbeat positive mood. He was able to view the defeat for what it was a risk he had to take but one that didn’t pay off. The Deise fighter also seems to take solace in the fact he got to live the big fight experience.

However, it appears the love and support from what is a sizable and devoted fan base have lessened the pain of the dramatic injury and devasting defeat.

“The support is absolutely uplifting, it’s been amazing and it helps in every single way. This sport is crazy, but look at the support, it is on a different level. When your low you can feel that love and trust me it helps a whole lot. I actually can’t get through all the texts and well wishes. I know I’m blessed with the best support possible.”

Reflecting on the fight itself McCarthy says he may have got caught up in the excitement and switched off of a moment, something he now knows you can’t do against someone like Rea.

“Going into this fight we knew he was a huge prospect and we were aware of the risks but il never shy away from risk or danger, it’s just not in me.

“I feel I was just getting going. I felt I caught him and I got a little bit excited, switched off, and then instantly I got buzzed and that was it,” he adds before looking for more positives.

“The experience that I’ve gained will definitely change me as a fighter going forward. It clearly didn’t go my way but the sense of pride to actually make it to Sky Box Office is just… I’ve no words really.”

Thanking his support he continues: “I just want to thank everyone for the support and love I’m glad I gave Waterford and beyond such a lift. That energy was intense your all legends.”

There was talk of a possible homecoming and a title fight in Waterford this summer. That seems unlikely considering the extent of the injury but McCarthy is adamant he will return and suggests Saturday’s defeat will only add to a story he believes will have a fairytale ending.

“Now it’s time to heal,” he continues. “In every story, there has to be a twist you need a defeat to make the comeback even more special. With my following, it makes this moment a lot easier. Let’s see what’s next for Team McCarthy,” he says before issuing a list of shout-outs that humbly includes Rea.

“Huge shout out to my kids at home, Chloe and Bradley daddy loves yee too bits. I still didn’t get to just chill with the kids as I’m still in the hospital. I have to thank my coaches, the legendary brothers Joey and Paul Simpson, and one of my best friends, a brother and in my eyes best manager in Ireland and beyond Neil Power. Neil ran this whole experience so professionally and has been with me since literally day one. Not just day one of my professional career but my amateur days too. Thank you men it’s a team effort and wishing Bradley Rea all the success in his future. I’m sure he be going big titles now no doubt.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com