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‘I have to stay focused’ Padraig McCrory Heeds Gary Cully Warning

AHEAD of what he says is the biggest fight for years at the SSE Arena for years, Padraig McCrory feels last week’s events show there are no sure things in boxing. 

Events in Dublin last week proved as much as Katie Taylor, Dennis Hogan and Gary Cully all suffered defeat. The Cully reverse particularly sticks out as ‘The Diva’ was in a similar position as him when he ring walked at the 3Arena. Like Belfast’s working-class hero’s fight with Deigo Rameriez, the Kildare fighter’s clash with Jose Felix Jr was deemed a solid keep busy fight with much bigger nights pending. However, the Kildare fighter was sent back to the drawing board by a big left Mexican hook. McCrory knows he can’t allow the same to happen.

Boasting a perfect 17-0 record, ‘The Hammer’ says that avoiding complacency is one of the keys to further success. “It was very unfortunate that Katie and Gary and Denis Hogan didn’t get over the line, but it shows that in boxing anything can happen. People think that you get in and you should always win, but there’s always that chance that you’ll be caught. It’s about staying switched on and trying to bring back some hope for the Irish fans.,” he told Boxing Tickets NI.

Gary Cully was a hot favourite last weekend, but the Diva came unstuck within three rounds, and McCrory says there is always danger present. “People expect us to be beating these guys and nine times out of ten we will, but in a boxing match there’s always that chance. Unfortunately, it happened on Saturday night. I think Gary will be back, he’s a great athlete and he’s a very good fighter. I look forward to seeing Gary come back but for me it’s about Saturday night, staying switched on and putting on a very good performance.”

A fan favourite in Belfast, he confounded expectations last year when he went to Germany and won the IBO Light Heavy title.

While he’ll receive a warm reception from his home crowd at the weekend, McCrory says that one of his ambitions is to headline his own Belfast show. “I never look too far ahead, but ideally I would love to top my own bill and I’d love it to be the SSE. But I have to keep winning, have to keep bringing the fans and entertaining the fans. Again, for Saturday my main aim is to get the win but if I can do it in style I’ll be very happy.”

McCrory had hoped to fight Edgar Berlanga at Madison Square Garden in June, but the fight didn’t come to pass. However he feels he could yet  be in a major fight before the end of 2023, provided he comes through this weekend. “I was very close to fighting on June 24 at Madison Square Garden but it didn’t come off. So my aim now is to secure the biggest fight possible by the end of the year. I know there’s talk of what might come next, but I have to stay focused.”