Returning Ciaran McVarnock vows to instantly get into domestic title mix


Ciaran McVarnock [9(3)-0-1] is ready to make his mark at domestic level having had to watch frustratingly from the sidelines for over a year.

‘Bunty’ believes he is just as talented as those having domestic success in and around super featherweight and lightweight and returns looking to grab his share of the spotlight.

The Belfast fighter took some time out to travel as well as relocating home to Belfast and switching trainers – and, as a result, hasn’t traded leather since December of 2017.

The former Anthony Farnell-trained fighter is now back on the scene, training with the Storeys in Holy Family GG, and will populate the Boxing Ireland Promotions ‘Celtic Clash 8’ card set for the Devenish Venue and Saturday May 25th.

Speaking about his time out, McVarnock admits he watched on as the scene back home picked up with frustration.

“It was really frustrating because I look around me and I see fighters from Ireland getting a lot of success,” McVarnock explained to Irish-Boxing.com.

“It is great, I love to see it, and I wish them all the best – but I also want to be among them.”

“Because I was travelling, moving back home, and gelling with my new trainers, it put a lot on hold.

“I’m back now and I’m ready for those butterflies when you are leaving the changing room for that ring walk,” he added before revealing he believes he as good as any in and around his weight in the county.

“I think I stand right in the mix of them all domestically and come May 25th I will show that.”

In truth, it would be unfair to expect McVarnock to overly impress on his return. There will be leeway given considering his time spent out of the ring, but it’s leeway the fighter doesn’t need or want.

“I won’t have any ring rust,” promised the hard-working New Lodge puncher.

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“I will lose all of that in sparring leading up to the fight. The guys from Holy Family gym are all elite fighters they will push me to my limits in sparring.”

“We will go into this fight 100%. No excuses for anything,” he promises.

McVarnock has made the move to the legendary North Belfast club and will work under both Gerry Storey Snr and Jnr.

The returning boxer claims he has already made improvements under their guidance and is confident that fight fans will notice come the eighth installment of the Celtic Clash series.

“I believe in myself more now,” he continues.

“The things I am learning with both Gerry Storeys, everything is technical, it is real smart boxing.”

“Then I do fitness and strength and conditioning with Seamy, my dietician Tam from Liverpool, I’m a lot more professional now than I ever was.”

“I will win this fight in style and have my name coming from everyone’s mouth on how much I have changed and improved as a fighter.”

Another plus for a fighter who was previously based in Manchester is the fact he is back in Belfast.

McVarnock has only fought twice in his home city and is delighted with another chance to fight in front of his home fans – something that may become a regular occurence should, as expected, Boxing Ireland’s forays into Belfast become frequent.

The 27-year-old described how “it feels amazing having a date. I have always had that hunger to get back into the ring. It never went.”

“I’m over the moon that my fight is in Belfast. The atmosphere in the Devenish is always great. I get great support fighting back home a bring a great crowd.”

“I’m back home now with my girlfriend Nicole and my family and when things get hard during training camp that’s where the real support comes from. I cant wait,” he adds before stating he is title hungry – and there are plenty of potential fights out there.

“I believe Boxing Ireland Promotions have a contract waiting for me for when I get home, I will sit down and have a chat with them on the plans ahead. I will see what they have in store, but my aim is belts. It’s not the opponent I want. It’s the belts.”

“I would like to thank the biggest Moda Furnishings for supporting me leading up to this fight. They have been unbelievable helping me out!”

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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]