McCormack tells McCarthy he would happily provide Irish title opposition

Graham McCormack [5(1)-0] told Craig McCarthy [7(2)-0-1] he doesn’t need to try and persuade Chris Blaney out of retirement, as he has a ready and willing potential Irish title opponent.

The ‘G Train’ wants to make the boxing equivilent of last years All Ireland hurling final and a fight he assures will please fans.

Ticket selling Deise fighter McCarthy fought Meath’s Blaney for the Irish middleweight strap in Bolton in December of 2019. A bloody affair ended in a draw and the pair were set to rematch in Waterford on a Ring Kings show last Spring only for the pandemic to ruin those plans.

‘Ginja Ninja’ Blaney has since retired but it’s believed ‘Built To Last’ is still mandated to challenge for the green strap and he took to social media to try and persuade his former foe to return so they could fight for the strap again.

McCormack was quick to pipe up and let his interest be known.

The Shaun Kelly trained fighter is moving up to middleweight and would love a shot at the 160lbs Irish strap.

“I saw a post up saying he would like Chris Blaney to come out of retirement so they could fight again on Ring Kings 2. If Chris doesn’t come back I would gladly step in and fight McCarthy. No disrespect toward McCarthy I would just love a shot. It’s a fan-friendly exciting fight and one I would be confident of winning,” McCormack told Irish-boxing.com.

When Neil Power plans to run Ring Kings 2 remains to be seen – and there are also question marks as to whether or not McCormack would be eligible to challenge for the Irish title by then.

The southpaw has done six rounds, meaning he wouldn’t be eligible for a 10 rounder as of yet.

As the result, the fighter, who returns after over a year out in Luxemburg on June 5, knows he can’t be overly vocal about domestic dominance.

“I don’t know [how I go about getting eligible]. I do know I can’t just be shouting and saying ‘I’m next in line to fight for the Irish title’ because I know that I’m not. Also I am not looking past June 5th, I’m fully focused on that fight and my manager has plans for me after it, so if there is a way we can get eligible for it by either end of the year or early next year I’d be bang up for that fight.”

Regardless of whether or not it happens soon, the Irish title remains the goal, and to achieve it would be a dream come true for the 32-year-old.

“It would mean the world to me and that’s the truth,” he adds “A lot of people doubted I’d get past my first fight never mind be talking about Irish titles. The middleweight title has been won by so many greats including Andy Lee, so it would be an honour for me to win it. It would be a great way to show my son what we can achieve when we work hard and believe in ourselves.”

If by some chance the fight comes off McCormack believes it’s not one to be missed.

“I think it would be a tough fight. Two southpaws who like to tear it up, it has excitement written all over it,” he adds before almost going into an atmosphere daydream.

“Listen man, there’s no question that the atmosphere would be unreal. He brings a massive crowd, I bring a massive crowd, it would be a repeat of the lasts All Ireland hurling final Limerick v Waterford, a final Limerick won by the way. I’d have no worries going into his back garden. I’d go anywhere to fight because I bring a Limerick army with me,” he continues before stressing he has no personal issue with Waterford’s McCarthy, rather just an Irish title desire.

“I think he’s a good fighter, a good boxer and a nice guy. It would just be business that’s all. There is nothing bad from my end. I just like the idea of that fight and if it was for the Irish title even better.”

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