Boxing is littered with stories of talent unfilled because of a fondness for the party lifestyle or the thirst for a pint.
Declan Geraghty [19(4)-3(1)] admits he almost fell victim to a problem that has hurt so many. The slick operator, whose had been lauded as a natural talent, revealed he ‘did nothing but drink’ following his second Jono Carroll reverse.
The Dublin super featherweight southpaw was out every night enjoying the kind of things he had sacrificed over a long amateur and now pro career but is now back committed and finally ready to face Marco McCullough this Friday night.
The return at the Ulster Hall is a stark contrast for Geraghty who pulled out of the initial match-up in October. Indeed, things had gotten to the point where ‘Pretty Boy’ had wondered if he would ever return to the ring.
“Since the Jono fight I did nothing but drinking,” an honest Geraghty told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I was just partying. I let myself go so much it got to the stage where I was wondering if I was ever going to get back to it. Could I ever hit super feather again? Could I train to the levels needed again? There were times I was going the gym walking back out.”
In fairness to the 28-year-old, he hadn’t spiralled out of control, rather he enjoyed the kind of lifestyle most students rejoice in over a six-month period.
The southpaw, like all fighters, had his social life curtailed over the years and was enjoying making up for lost time in the party sense.
It certainly wasn’t conducive to boxing, but it doesn’t seem there was a massively destructive nature to the wild streak. In fact when pushed further on it Geraghty’s explanation might prompt some to suggest the break and maybe even some let- your-hair-down moments were beneficial.
“I am boxing since I was in nappies,” he explains.
“You hear fighters talk about being at since they were kids or that, but this has been my life for so long. Honestly I was out of the hospital and straight to the gym. My Ma would make my Da take me to the gym because I was a cry baby.”
“She wanted a bit of peace so I have been at it year on year all my life nearly and it was hard going. I wasn’t just down the gym keeping fit. I was always training with winning things in mind and involved at the highest level.”
“Boxing was my whole life nearly. It’s not just ‘go train and then you’re free’. You have to live right too and you can’t do so many small things people take for granted. It takes a toil on you, mentally more than anything. Maybe I just needed that break?”
Geraghty won’t say if it’s break related, but he does claim to be back fresh, fit and ready to go.
The EU Championships silver medallist has been in the gym ‘proper’ since the turn of the year and has registered two routine wins in Hungry.
This weekend he enters his fourth All-Irish fight as he trades leather with McCullough in Belfast and is predicting he will be back to top form.
Geraghty outlined how “I am so excited for this one. I just feel great and I am in a good place mentally and physically.”
“I am back at it proper since January and I feel great. I am performing great, I am happy, I’m fresh and I am excited about the future. I see the best Marco and I can promise him the best version of me.”
Geraghty was full of confident talk ahead of his three previous domestic dust ups, but came out second best against recent world title challengers James Tennyson and, twice, Jono Carroll.
The Declan Geraghty Snr-trained fighter reveals that this wasn’t idle talk and he still believes he could beat both. However, while he has expressed a belief that he can out do the Belfast man this weekend he claims he has avoided being brash in the build up.
“I believe what I say. I lost to Tenny and Jono and I have to take that on the chin, but I thought I’d beat them and I think I could beat them. I was being honest before the fights they just didn’t turn out the way I thought.”
“This is probably the only time I don’t need to talk about fight. It’s made, there is no bad blood and it sells itself. Sometimes boxers say things and tell lies to convince themselves they are better than they are. I don’t think myself and Marco have to do that.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)