Padraig McCrory aware of dangerous balancing act before big breakthrough


Padraig McCrory [7(3)-0] has something “massive” in the pipeline but the Belfast super middleweight knows he can’t take his eye off the ball.

‘The Hammer’ has revealed that his ninth pro contest is set to be a major bout but he has a potential banana skin in fight number eight.

McCrory boxes on the Ulster Hall #MTKFightNight bill tomorrow night and, while opponent Eric Nwankwo [1(1)-3(1)] doesn’t have an eye-catching record, the St James’s man is in for a fight.

The rather wild Nigerian has power and stopped touted prospect William Webber in his debut. The aggressive Pompey-based puncher has lost three fights since but has landed some big shots and taken a few rounds in the process and McCrory admits he can’t overlook his opponent on the Ryan Burnett comeback undercard.

It all means that tomorrow is something of a balancing act for McCrory.

The Ulster puncher is happy to have an opponent that will come to fight – with his two most notable wins, over Manny Bique and Sean McGlinchey, having come versus ambitious foes – but he is wary of missing out on some big plans that are within touching distance.

Analysing the match-up, McCrory told Irish-Boxing.com that “he knocked out a guy, William Webber, who was tipped for big things and is now 6-1. He’s the sort of fight that I want, he’s physically strong and he comes to fight. I’ll have to stay safe, but I can show I have.”

“This guy is probably a better version of Manny Bique, he has a better jab, probably a bit stronger. I’m expecting a tough couple of rounds.”

“Now I have to stay safe, no cuts, no injuries, and definitely not a loss. But I don’t want to be overly-cautious where it will affect my performance. I’ve to put it all to the back of my mind and focus on Friday night. The guy is going to be coming swinging.”

McCrory’s last opponent, Santos Medrano on the Keeler-Cummings 2 bill in March, certainly did not come out swinging.

The 30-year-old was brought the distance by the squat and negative Nicaraguan in a fight which failed to light up the undercard, with commentators Barry Jones and Alex Steadman being quite unimpressed.

The mature McCrory is able to reflect on the fight positively, however.

“The last guy, he was really cagey,” he notes.

“It’s always disappointing when someone says something bad about you but I watched the fight back and they said that I was doing slightly better each round and I agree.”

“I will get better when I go to eight and ten rounds. I know I have a few early knockouts but I’m a slow starter, a notoriously slow starter.”

The West Belfast boxer has something big in the works and, while he can’t talk about it at the minute, the undercard of the Mick Conlan Féile an Phobail card on August 3rd would look to be a decent bet.

McCrory revealed that “my next fight, if everything goes to plan, it’s going to be good. I can’t say much about it but it’s going to be a step up, a massive step-up.”

“Fighting at the Féile, it would be brilliant. I’m literally 200 yards away from the Falls Park. Of all the boxers potentially on the show, I’m the closest to it.”

“It’s a dream, it would be like Frampton fighting at Windsor. A stadium getting built, it’s going to be amazing and I’d love to be on it.”

dpg

logo may

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]