Gaughran Tells Domestic Middles Only Way to Irish Title is Through McCormack

It’s next stop Irish title for the ‘G-Train’ – and the Limerick man can be selective when it comes to who he takes along for the ride according to manager Ian Gaughran.

Graham McCormack [8(1)-1(0)]  became mandatory for the Irish middleweight strap when he beat rival Dominic Donegan for the BUI Celtic title in Belfast on Saturday gone.

The prestigious belt, which last decorated the waist of Luke Keeler after his 2017 victory over Darren Cruise, is vacant at present, meaning the Treaty fighter is now looking for a challenger rather than chasing down a champion.

It’s a point his manager was keen to make, claiming the career-best performance means anyone with Irish title aspirations at 160lbs will have to fight the 35-year-old.

An all Munster clash with Craig McCarthy has been mentioned but Team McCormack are currently open to suggestion -and regardless of who throws their hat in the ring Gaughran is confident his charge won’t be rivaled domestically.

“Graham is obviously now the one they all have to go through for the Irish title so we’ll start having that conversation and see what the best fight is – but he is now training, fighting and living with so much confidence that I reckon he’ll take some amount of beating for the green belt,” Gaughran told Irish-boxing.com.

The Dublin based manager didn’t just want to look forward, Gaughran was determined to reflect on Saturday’s performance and victory that meant so much to another person boxing helped save.

“I’m delighted for Graham and Shaun [Kelly] and the whole team down there in Treaty Boxing that they’ve gotten this win and this title.

“You know, Graham has been through a hell of a lot in his life and he’s the leader of that team – but also is very well respected in his community for how he was managed to turn his life around.

“This was the culmination of a tonne of hard work and sacrifice,” he adds before stating this isn’t the end of the journey.
“I really believe he is only starting to show his potential now, in his mid thirties.”

Gaughran also credited McCormack’s rival Dominic Donegan for his part in an extremely entertaining fight.

“It was an excellent performance and I must credit Dom for bringing out the best in Graham and I thought he was excellent too – I certainly think Dom can get back into contention now with a bit of luck.”

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 sport for a living for 19 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