Headline Act – McCrory plots SSE Arena bill topping course

Padraig McCrory [15(9)-0] is ready to take another step toward becoming a big Belfast bill topper with victory on the big Conlan- Guerfi undercard this weekend.

McCrory’s stock was rising steadily over the last 24 months or so before it skyrocketed to an all-time high, thanks to a brilliant knockout win Germany in October.

‘The Hammer’ stopped Leon Bunn live on TG4 to claim the IBO light heavyweight world title, blasting open doors in the process.

The Dee Walsh trained fighter, who stays busy with a homecoming fight this weekend, is now said to have numerous big-name options and will definitely have a fight of serious note early next year.

Win that fight and he believes he could be an arena headline act, something he never foresaw when turning over.

“I’m probably one big win away from topping my own bill which is beyond what I ever expected,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.

“The dream is very achievable and with the right fight it’s possible.”

McCrory will only remain on course to become a headline act if he manages to win this weekend. The Conlan Boxing fan favourite isn’t expected to be overly tested in an eight-round clash against a yet-to-be-revealed opponent but with fights and big nights in the pipeline he would have been forgiven for playing it ultra-safe and sitting this card out.

However, the 34-year-old didn’t want to miss out.

“I definitely wouldn’t miss any Belfast fight night if I had my way…. for me Belfast is the greatest city on earth. I’m very excited the SSE is one of my favourite venues and in looking forward to a bit of a homecoming,” he adds.

“It will be a massive night in Belfast. I see myself getting a solid win to line up a massive 2023.”

When pushed on the names being discussed and the big 2023 options the Belfast fighter isn’t giving too much away.

“I’ve had a few names mentioned but as things lie with my fight next week and who and where that next fight will be could differ. Wasserman boxing have an option on it so it lies with them and Conlan Boxing,” he continues before admitting he is hungry to build on his IBO title win.

“It’s sunk in now. I took a week off and then I was back in the gym. I now want more success.”

McCrory won the 2019 Irish Boxing Awards Knockout of the Year and has been a contender for the gong every year since. To become the first two-time winner he will have to pull out something special this weekend with his stablemate Owen O’Neill favourite in the 2022 running.

“Owen was a very special knockout… I celebrated at first then once I realised the seriousness of the situation my joy turn to worry as it looked bad. Thankfully everyone was ok. That KO would be hard to beat ok any year.”

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