Hammer Blow – TV company kibosh Padraigh McCrory vs former world champ David Lemieux

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.”

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