Headline News

Crank Whitehouse dismisses training camp rumours

When Regan Buckley fought Carl McDonald it was about pizza, when Luke Keeler fought Darren Cruise it was about the side bet, Jono Carroll and Deco Geraghty had the drama over how many rounds the fight would take place over.

All-Irish fights invariably throw up a certain unexpected point during the build-up which becomes a major topic of conversation.

For the BUI Celtic welterweight title fight between Gerard Whitehouse and Jay Byrne tomorrow night, the question is this – is Crank training?

Comments from the Balbriggan youngster have been relayed, misinterpreted, and blown somewhat out of proportion, leading to a situation where there are some wondering if Whitehouse has taken the fight on tomorrow’s Celtic Clash 4 card lightly.

The origins of the talk come from an interview Whitehouse [7(2)-0] did with this very site, in which he mentioned that “a decent performance from me should see me pass Jay.”

Of course the rumour mill has been churning and Whitehouse has come out to dismiss this talk

“There was a comment made recently saying that I don’t have to train to beat Jay Byrne – that was never said by me,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.

“There was a question put to me saying ‘Will you have to be at your best to beat Jay Byrne?’ and I don’t think I do. I think I have to show up, and come, but I don’t think I need to be at my best to beat him.”

“That’s just my opinion, a good performance from me gets past Jay Byrne.”

Indeed, Whitehouse stressed that he has been training harder than ever for the eight-round fight.

The Bracken BC man outlined how “this has been a hard camp, we’ve put in loads of rounds of sparring, I’m fully prepared.”

“In the gym we’ve had good sparring partners, we’ve a super middleweight [John McCallum] over from Scotland who’s 10-1, and I’ve been doing eight rounds with him. ”

“This has been a hard camp, we’ve put in loads of rounds of sparring, I’m fully prepared.”

“No niggles, usually I have problems with my hands. This camp’s been fluid, and it’s come around quick with this fight being a title fight. There’s an extra buzz around the gym, an extra buzz around the people working with me in the gym.”

Regardless of what Whitehouse says, talk will no doubt continue. The National Stadium will be awash with rumours tomorrow night right up until the first bell.

Like it or lump it, it’s the nature of modern boxing. Indeed online talk is what lit a fire under the fight in the first place.

With a nine-year age gap and from complete opposite ends of the county, Byrne [5(1)-3(1)] and Whitehouse’s rivalry is not a natural one per say – however it has developed into a relatively high profile fight since hitting our radars earlier this year.

The source of the spark? Their common opponent Sergio Abad, who they faced on successive Red Corner Promotions shows.

Whitehouse recalled how “it was Red Corner, they put a statement out on social media about the Abad fight, saying he handled Abad better than me. I obviously reacted to that comment and push came to shove, it was just back and forward then and I’m just happy the fight’s made.”

“I had Abad winning [v Byrne] by a round or two, I think Abad beat him. I handled Abad handy enough, I beat him every round, 60-54.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography


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: joneill6@tcd.ie