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EU Champ puts Mandtatory McCrory on the Long Finger

It’s not as straight forward as it first appeared, Padraig McCrory [13(7)-0] may have to wait for his continental title shot.

When the Belfast super-middleweight was last month made mandatory for the EBU European title’s sister strap, the EU title, it was believed his next fight would be for the prestigious and progressive belt.

In fact, the European Boxing Union confirmed they had granted time for negotiations to take place between the Belfast fighter and champion Gustave Tamba [17(11)-1(0)], suggesting purse bids would be called if a deal wasn’t reached.

It was understood Conlan Boxing were trying to tempt the French fighter to Belfast, hoping to put the title fight on the Feile.

However, according to McCrory, Tamba is now looking to make a voluntary defence and isn’t keen on a Feile fight. The Dee Walsh trained fighter is still mandatory for the strap but may have to wait until later in the year to get a shot.

“Negotiations are still ongoing but Tamba’s team are looking at something different,” McCrory tells Irish-boxing.com.

“It’s nice being mandatory but as far as I’m aware they have requested a voluntary defence first. It’s unclear if it’s going to be my next fight but all being well we will have to fight before the years out.”

It’s frustrating for a fighter that won titles at the last two Feile Fight Nights – but it’s not disastrous. ‘The Hammer’ is still mandatory for the belt and thus still has a clear path to European title success, at the very worst he will just have to show some more patience.

The Belfast fighter, who had a very positive second half to 2021 stopping Sergei Gorokhov and Celso Neves while picking up the WBC International silver title along the way, was hoping for a big fight early this year. However, the likes of Jack Cullen and Rocky Fielding rebuffed fight offers. leaving him frustrated.

Going the EU route puts matters in his own powerful fists and if he does manage to win the EU crown it should lead to an EBU shot.

“It’s nice to start getting recognised by the governing bodies,” he comments. “The EU leading to EBU is the perfect scenario.”

McCrory. has yet to study the French fighter and won’t take a serious look until a fight is confirmed.

“He seems a good fighter from what I’ve seen but haven’t done enough research to make proper comment on him,” he adds before revealing he would travel to France to challenge for the title if it came to that.

“If the opportunity was right I’d ve more than happy to go to the lion’s den.”

It would appear Team Tamba are worried McCrory has the potential to cause an upset, so they may be looking to make a handpicked defence before looking to challenge for the EBU title. If that is the case, the Belfast man would be on course for a vacant shot.

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