Padraig McCrory [11(5)-0] came agonisingly close to having his very own ‘Rocky moment’.
The popular super middleweight this week revealed he was within a whisker of fighting massive Canadian name and former world champion David Lemieux [42(35)-4(2)].
‘The Hammer’ had agreed to fight the big punching and experienced super middleweight – and looked set for a massive career-changing April 17 opportunity.
However, despite a willingness from both parties the TV company involved expressed reservations and stopped things from going further.
The French-speaking Canadian, who stopped Cork’s favourite Spike O’Sullivan, will now fight Robert Talarek, a Pole with 13 defeats on his record, who goes into the clash on the back of a draw with a 9-1 relative novice.
“I got a call from Jamie (Conlan) at MTK who said they had a fight for me,” McCrory said when speaking to Belfast Live.
“Jamie said an offer had been made, and I asked what it was. He said ‘How does David Lemieux sound?’, and I didn’t believe him.
“He told me he had been asked about an opponent for Lemieux and Jamie had put my name forward. I showed no hesitation. Talks happened between both teams and a deal was agreed.
“We agreed on money and we were just waiting on the written offer, but unfortunately the TV company involved rejected the fight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big enough name.
“So that’s why the fight was pulled. Both camps agreed to it. We were all good to go. But this is boxing and there are a number of parts that all have to fall into place.”
It would have proved a career-changing chance against a fellow regular Knockout of the Year nominee.
Purse wise the clash would have dwarfed anything received to date and victory would have allowed the 32-year-old to lay claim to being a world-level operator.
It wasn’t to be and McCrory knows he has to take the positives from the situation and focus on his return.
“I am 32. I am not getting any younger. This would have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” McCrory added.
“And I wouldn’t have gone to Canada to make up the numbers. I would have been confident in giving David Lemieux a very good fight.
“It was gutting when the fight was pulled. I was over the moon when I got the offer, but unfortunately, the broadcaster pulled the plug on it.
“It would have been my biggest purse, by a mile. And I could have done a lot with the money. It would have been a massive fight for me.
“It is disappointing, but it is what it is. I have another fight lined up for next month and I will prepare for that. I don’t have any time to dwell on things.”