Boxing Ireland call for an end to “misconceptions” to allow a Graham McCormack Homecoming

Boxing Ireland’s Stephen Sharpe has called on Limerick venues to ignore current misconceptions surrounding boxing and help Graham McCormack [3(0)-0] bring a big time fight night back to the city.

With the massive success of shows in Waterford and Mayo last year, it’s become clear there is a real thirst for fight nights outside of Belfast and Dublin.

With a strong history of boxing, a real love of sport, and a number of impressive venues, Limerick looked an ideal city to continue this decentralisation.

The emergence of popular Treaty man McCormack means the timing also looks right for the city to flirt with pugilism again.

Boxing Ireland have explored the idea of a Limerick stop on ‘G-Train’s’ journey, but claim venues haven’t welcomed their advances.

It’s disappointing for the infectious McCormack, who has the potential to become a real poster boy for positive personal change, and somewhat confusing for the promotional outfit.

Sharpe claims the lack of willingness to work with a boxing event is based upon a massive ‘misconception’ that currently blights boxing.

Venues, and going by a staggering rise in insurance prices, seem to be expecting trouble, which is unfair points out one half of the Boxing Ireland team.

Sharpe called on potential venues in Limerick to look at the promotional company’s recent track record.

‘Clash of the Titans’, which plays out on TG4 next week and is co-promoted by Boxing Ireland and Assassin Promotions, is the outfit’s seventh show in under two years and Sharpe points out there hasn’t been a single issue at any of their shows.

“There were the same issues with venues we have in Dublin of late. It’s just a big misperception out there, it’s a shame, but something that I am sure will change. ” Sharp told Irish-Boxing.com when questioned on the issue at a Functional Fitness Limerick-hosted media day before expressing hope opinions might change.

“I think we can overcome them there is an appetite for a show here. The local media lads here mentioned it today and they are keen on it and tell me it would be well received. I think if the media get behind it that might help.”

Asked what message he would have for doubting venues the Dublin man added “just look at look at Boxing Ireland’s track record. ‘Clash of the Titans’ is our seventh show in 18 months and there has been no trouble, not one issue, not even an incident in the crowd.”

McCormack, who next fights in the National Stadium next Saturday [March 30th] against Cork-based South African Jade Karam, is early into his career and in that regard is happy enough just to be involved in the sport.

His support also travel so, in that regard, he can create a home away from home. Yet his eyes do light up when Limerick is mentioned and he would rejoice in giving the natives Andy Lee and Willie Casey style nights to remember alongside some of his Munster stablemates – Limerick-based Kerry super feather Siobhan O’Leary in particular.

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“It would be great if we could get something down here. I have a lot of support from the people of Limerick and it would be great to give back to them. The buzz would be lovely too. Hopefully we keep winning and I can get down here,” McCormack said on the issue.

The Garryowen light middleweight prospect also believes the city would rejoice in and get behind a fight card and, stepping up to six rounds next week, McCormack is closing in on title level and potential headline fights.

“It would be massive for the city. The support we would get would be unreal. Honest to God, the support I get here is unreal. I have people on the street stopping me I don’t even know asking when am I coming to Limerick and all I can say to them is ‘hopefully sometime soon’.”

“There is a buzz around Limerick for sport and for boxing. You saw the reaction when Andy [Lee] and Willie [Casey] fought here before. Hopefully we can bring that back. With the media here now you can see the interest,” he adds before reflecting on his support and the fact he is deemed worthy enough to bring a show to his hometown.

“I definitely feel pride that people are even talking about me playing a part in bringing a show here. The reception I have gotten since I turned over just leaves you buzzing it can be overwhelming. I am excited about what the future holds.”

Photo Credit: Sharon Flanagan

Tickets for ‘Clash of the Titans’ cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and €100 (VIP) and are available from the boxers involved or Ticketmaster (CLICK HERE).

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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: [email protected]