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Crowd-favourite Craig McCarthy promising “performance of the night” at CityWest

Waterford middleweight Craig McCarthy is the opposite to a lot of fighters.

Most debutants would note after their first fight that they were too aggressive, and pledge to box more in their second bout.

For former top amateur McCarthy, he feels he was slightly to passive when he debuted last month and is looking to ramp up the excitement when he returns to the ring on Friday.

The Déise boxer fights on the SK Promotions ‘Next Generation’ card at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin and wants to put on a show for his large travelling support.

Massive numbers came to the National Stadium for the debut to see McCarthy face Curtis Gargano. The English journeyman plays to the crowd, but does little actual fighting and McCarthy kept his cool in the face of all the antics.

Reflecting on his first outing, ‘Built2Last’ told Irish-Boxing.com that “in my debut my opponent was very negative and, looking back on it, I feel I could put on more pressure rather than looking for perfect punches.”

“In this fight I’m gonna try make more opportunities for myself, push the pace a bit, let the hands go a bit more.”

“It’s great to get in the rounds and all, but if an opportunity comes I’m gonna be all over it and I’m gonna finish it”

The former St Paul’s amateur has been training hard with Steven O’Rourke at the St Michael’s club in Inchicore, and notes how “camp has been brutal but fantastic.”

“I’ve got to spar a lot more which is very important for me because we believe there is still some ring rust to overcome after over three years out. ”

“I’ve also been working on my inside game which I’m excited to show.”

“I only had just over a week off since my debut and then I’m lucky enough to be straight back in to training camp for test two.”

The gym is a burgeoning one with a number of new pros such as Victor Rabei and Cillian Reardon, top amateurs including Tony Browne, as well as Steve Collins Jr who joined during the Summer.

McCarthy described how “every single training session with my coach Steven O’Rourke is bringing me on and I’m always learning off this man, he has so much knowledge in the fight game.”

“The gym is just absolutely flying, it feels brilliant in there. You can feel it in the air, the amateurs and pros are all doing great.”

“It’s been a great few weeks in the gym, everyone getting great wins and this week is going to be the same again.”

“We’re all hopping off each other pushing the next person, very positive and professional altogether.”

McCarthy shifted a notable number of tickets for his debut, and the National Stadium was filled with people in blue caps.

Expect more of the same tomorrow night, and crowd-favourite appreciates his position.

“We all know in this game it’s crucial to be able to sell tickets and get sponsorship and I’m fortunate enough to be able do both,” admits McCarthy – who faces tough Polish light heavyweight Michal Ciach [1(1)-1(0)]

“The support from people has been amazing to be honest. It’s very humbling for me to see everyone jump all over the tickets and traveling to Dublin for it. Some people are taking days or weekends off work just for me, that type of support has me obsessed to do great things.”

“You can expect another uplifting group of my Déise friends and family up at the CityWest rocking it, All these lads love a fight and will all be on a great buzz cheering me and having a great party in my honour.”

“That’s gonna push me on to put on the performance of the night.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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