New Year’s Resolutions: New MGM signing McVarnock hopeful after “worst year of my boxing career”

A nightmare 2016 is finally over for Belfast’s Ciaran McVarnock [6(1)-0-1] and things are finally starting to look up.

‘Bunty’ fought just once last year, a facile one-round knockover of Ruslans Berdimuradovs in May. Since then, McVarnock has had a tough time, but yesterday it was announced that he had signed up with Macklin’s Gym Marbella ahead of a hopefully improved 2017.

McVarnock is delighted with the move, following a disappointing 2016 and explained to how “2016 was the worst year of my boxing career by far, with only having half a round over the last 14 months. The best thing for boxers to develop into proper seasoned pros is keeping busy and picking the right fights at the right time. Boxing is all about learning you can never stop learning.”

“I’ve had some bad injuries with my elbows throughout the year, and I’ve also had a lot of personal problems which I wont go into, but that pretty much sums up my frustrating 2016.”

Describing how big a shift it is for his career, the featherweight claims that “signing with MGM means everything to me. They’re growing and growing and have some amazing fighters in their stable such as Billy Joe Saunders, Liam Smith, and Irish guys like Jamie Conlan and Paddy Barnes. They’re holding a lot of shows in the UK this year and especially Ireland, so I know at points of this year I’ll be fighting back home – which is what I want the most.”

“MGM, myself, and my trainer Arnie [Farnell] all have a great bond. I believe they will pick me the right fights at the right time, and us three working together will bring big things to Belfast.”

Looking ahead, McVarnock is targeting titles and the 24 year old outlined how “in 2017 all I want is to stay undefeated and see a belt around my waist by the end of it, no matter what title it is. That’s all I want.”

“I moved away from home and I have been through so much struggle and real hard times – I didn’t do it just to be average. This year I’ll just take each fight at a time and by the end of it I’ll be a champion.”

“I’d also like to thank my sponsors CS Suppliers and M&S Roofing who have stood by me from day one, as well as Andy Ayling and Jason McClory from Frank Warren who have been amazing with me.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: