The Limerick light middleweight and the Sligo puncher looked set for a feisty grudge match having shared heated verbal sparring sessions online over the last few months.
It all seemed to set up a mouthwatering December 7th clash and the pair had agreed to settle their differences in the ring on Ray Moylette’s Homecoming show at the Royal Theatre.
However, Latimer’s career hit a serious pothole after his now-infamous quickfire defeat to Matchroom prospect John Docherty last month.
Indeed, the 20-year-old is now undergoing licencing issues and admits that he subsequently fell into a depression.
Rather than fume that his chance to sample the all-Irish fight feel was now gone, McCormack showed serious compassion and reached out to help a fighter – he was intent on knocking out – to get back on his feet.
The Eddie Hyland-trained boxer revealed he knows what dark places look like so he got in touch with the young Manchester-based fighter and Latimer [2(0)-1(1)] subsequently revealed the help was crucial.
“I saw all the stick he was getting online after the Docherty fight and I saw one of his replies and he seemed really down so I mailed him,” McCormack told Irish-Boxing.com.
“He rang me and we had a chat. Life has humbled me and I’ve been down in very dark and low places and know it’s not a nice place to be – so I’m glad my chat helped him a bit and I hope he gets back to winning ways.”
It’s another reason to like a fighter that has really added something to the pro scene which he joined later than most. McCormack is one of those infectious ‘delighted to be here’ members of the pro circuit and one who is in entertaining fights and is always quick with a good line.
Now it seems he is one of many genuine nice guys in the game too – although he does admit he would have enjoyed inflicting pain on Latimer if the pair had met.
“I am not too disappointed [the fight with Latimer is off]. He got a chance and took it. I would have liked if the fight happened since we had lots of back and forth on Facebook and I would have enjoyed beating him, but this is boxing, it is what it is.”
While the chance of a somewhat high profile all-Irish clash is no more, McCormack has secured the next best thing as he fights Jade Karam on a show that includes Spike O’Sullivan and the Limerick-based Luis Garcia.
Not quite Irish, but South African Karam lives and trains out of Cork and makes up for what he lacks in technical skills with come-forward aggression and ambition. In that regard he is a step up from journeyman opposition and someone who could test the Limerick native in his first six rounder.
It’s an answer to McCormack’s step up calls, a fight he is excited about, but an opponent he knows has the potential to do damage.
“I feel good about it. Jade is a tough opponent and can give anyone a tough night so I will be on my a game that’s for sure. Camp is going great and I’m looking forward to a good fight .”
“I feel it’s a step up and a step in the right direction. He’s not to be overlooked at all. He has power and one punch can change a fight so I will need to be on my best that night and I’m 100% confident I will.”
“My coach Eddie is great at what he does and will have a game plan for me on the night and I will stick to it and get the win.”
McCormack also revealed he will have to put friendship to one side to secure victory.
“I have respect for Jade, he is a nice guy and we speak regularly,” revealed the 31-year-old.
“But this is a fight that will show what I’m about so I’m looking forward to it big time. I’m really up for it and like I said he is not to be over looked.”
“I have respect for any man that steps in to a ring and I’m sure on the 7th of December Jade will come to fight – and everyone knows I love a good fight.”
While it’s a step up in rounds and level of opponent for the Stephen Sharpe-managed fighter, it also appears to be a step up in terms of the card.
The fight will be part of a Royal Theatre Castlebar show which may be broadcast on TV and features some big names. It’s something of an upgrade from the small hall which is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the self-confessed boxing fanatic.
“It’s a great card and is looking like it’s gonna be a great show. People don’t realize I’m just a huge boxing super fan that gets to fight so being on a card with the likes of Ray Moylette and Spike O’Sullivan is great for me.”
“The show has tonnes of great fighters on it and I’m really looking forward to performing my best on the night. I want say a big thanks to my management team Boxing Ireland Promotions for getting me on the bill and to Assassin Boxing for having me on it.”