‘I’m not ready to say I’m retired’- Clancy struggling to accept he has called it a day


The obvious denial  just proves how much boxing means to Gearoid Clancy.

The Oughterard light welter’s social media is plastered with posts congratulating him on his career.

His team went as far to reveal it was the end of a entertaining journey for the Galway fighter pre and post his most recent fight and there is a general acceptance from family, friends, and fans that Clancy won’t fight again.

However, the fighter himself can’t bring himself to let the words pass his lips. Clancy doesn’t want to let go and appears to be in stage one of grief.

Bizarrely the 34-year-old transitions from essentially accepting the gloves are on the hook to being upset his retirement has been announced.

“I’m sorry I can’t give you a straight answer. It’s funny but I’m not ready to say I’m retired yet,” a hurting Clancy explains after an emotional interview left everyone more confused.

“I find it hard to say I’m retired because if I got the right fight I know I wouldn’t be able to say no. So, for now, I’ll take a step back for a while.”

It’s easier to say he will ‘take a step back’ rather than commit to never trading leather again for the Sydney-based fighter, but Clancy is an intelligent man and seems aware he is just delaying the inevitable in the wake of his unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) loss to Blake Minto.

“There were talks of me retiring after [my last] fight even though I hadn’t my mind fully made up. That fight has kinda left me pissed off. I felt I fought a great fight. It was a good tough fight but I was never going to get a fair shake so I don’t no what I’m at now,” he explains.

“Like a  lot of pro boxers know boxing doesn’t put food on the table. I’m fighting big fights and for very little money.”

“I’m not been bitter, but I always seem to be in the away corner. My last fight was a good, tough fight I think Blake Minto will agree. I’m my own worst critic I taught I might have stole that fight by a round or two. But they didn’t even give it close. If I lost by a round or two maybe fair enough, but it wast even close, so I just feel they were never going to give it to me. It is what is,” he continues pointing out the injustice, possibly as a reason to fight on in a bid to right a wrong.

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Typical to his mood, Clancy then does take time to reflect and does so fondly.

It wasn’t a Dennis Hogan or TJ Doheny career, but the Galway man did earn respect Down Under, always gave his all, and was always in entertaining fights.

“I was lucky in my career,” he adds.

“I fought eight title fights. I won two New South Wales titles, an Australia-Asian title and was happy to get them opportunities.

“They’re all nights I can look back on and be proud off.  I always fought anyone I was asked to. I never backed down from a fight. I meet some off the best people and I have friends for life through boxing.  For me that is more important than titles and belts, but what do I do know?”

It’s a really positive way to look at things and seems a nice note to wrap up, but Clancy isn’t ready to say goodbye and still holds hope.

“As I said boxing doesn’t put food on the table. I never done it for money. I always done it for the love of the game.”

“I’ll always be hanging around a boxing gym no matter where I am. I will stay fit in case I come out off retirement. If I got the right fight at home I would find it hard not to take it, but until then I’ll live a normal life and not refuse invites to weddings, birthdays and dinners anymore.”

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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]