Feargal McCrory [9(3)-0] has a potential path laid out in front of him that could secure a major fight with James Tennyson but the Tyrone super featherweight is willing to give this up for the chance to become Irish champion.
‘Fearless Feargal’ was due to fight Stephen McAfee for the vacant Irish title last week in Drimnagh but was forced to pull out after an injury to his right hand.
McCrory makes his return on Saturday February 9th 2019 on the ‘A Night To Remember’ card at the famous Ulster Hall and event promoter wants to put the Coalisland southpaw in a Commonwealth title eliminator – with a win potentially setting up a clash with champion, show headliner, and recent world title challenger Tennyson.
However, through patriotism and a genuine dislike of McAfee, McCrory is keen to fight the Dubliner on the big bill in Belfast.
“I don’t want to this to sound cheeky or come across disrespectful, but I have never wanted to punch someone in the face more than Stephen McAfee,” outlined McCrory.
“The possibilty to fight in a Commonwealth title eliminator to fight James, do I chose that over a fight with Stephen McAfee? I just choose Stephen McAfee.”
McCrory took extreme exception to a suggestion from McAfee, the Irish title mandatory, in an interview with Irish-Boxing.com that he had fearfully pulled out citing a fake injury.
The Ulsterman’s trainer and manager, John Breen, confirmed that he pulled his man from the fight despite McCrory wanting to face McAfee one-handed and the southpaw himself claimed that he and his team would have been willing to take on the Sallynoggin slugger had it been his backhand rather than his jab that was taken out of play
“If I had have injured my left hand I’d have boxed the head off him all night with my right,” said McCrory, “Hopefully I will be back punching by the end of the year.”
McCrory was in good spirits at the launch of next year’s show but admits that he had been quite low beforehand – and this was only compounded by talk from McAfee.
“[The new fight date] has lifted me massively. I was heartbroken. I have never been as low in my life. I was so, so brokenhearted. I didn’t even want to leave the house. I was totally heartbroken,” he added before addressing McAfee’s talk.
“I found it very disrespectful. It annoyed me. Not because of what he said, it was just on top of heartache of having to pull out of the fight.”
“It was actually a reporter up home who talked me through his interview. He said he saw me and their was fear in my eyes.”
“Now, me and him were sanctioned for the Irish title, he was from Dublin, I was fighting in Dublin before me and him were fighting for the Irish title, I am from Tyrone, did I expect him not to be there? He doesn’t know me. ”
McCrory, who previously described the fight as ‘like a penalty kick for the Irish title’ has not been impressed by McAfee – who moved to 5(2)-0-1 on the Celtic Clash 7 card with a six-round win over replacement Pole Michal Krawczyk.
On his potential foe, McCrory explained how “John and Eamonn [Magee] studied him. I watched two rounds when he fought O’Donovan and I let John and Eamonn come up with the game plane and it was very straightforward.”
“I was training very hard to try and exceute that. We were meant to go to Spain to fight Jono Carroll. Jono is a southpaw and Stephen is orthodox, but Jono is millions times better than Stephen McAfee. Everything was being prepared for Stephen McAfee.”
A former Irish champion in the amateurs, McCrory wants to be known as the best in the pros but isn’t holding out huge hope.
“Look. if it happens it happens,” he notes.
“I am Irish and I want to be the Irish champion but may not happen now.”
“I am not sure of the regulations surrounding the Commonwealth title, I might have to get a British licence, but if or when we pass domestic level I will proudly represent Irish boxing all day long.