Pádraig McCrory [1(0)-0] admits his fight on the big Carl Frampton homecoming bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena is a bit of a risk – but the Belfast super middleweight believes that such a test will bring the best out of him on Saturday night.
The St James’s man debuted last month, also at the Odyssey, but was far from satisfied with his performance in the ring.
While the tickets sold in their hundreds and the first win was chalked up, McCrory was left a little frustrated following the four-round points win over Jacob Lucas.
A negative opponent and a performance which didn’t hit top gear, McCrory thinks it will be different on the Frampton-Gutierrez bill.
On Saturday the 28 year old takes on Hungarian Norbert Szerekeres [18(9)-58(15)-3], an experienced foe who has faced all manner of prospects, usually later on in their careers.
McCrory outlined how “the guy I’m fighting, he’s quite experienced, it’s his eightieth fight. He’s been in the ring with Billy Joe Saunders, a current European champion, Conrad Cummings, he went six rounds with Cummings.”
“It’s a good test for my second fight. I’m only the second person to fight him so early [second fight] in my career. It could be too early, but I don’t think it is.”
“In the Odyssey last time on the Burnett bill, I sort of went into a comfort zone, following him around the ring a bit. I didn’t really get into third or fourth gear. Knowing that he [Szerekeres] is a bit better, I’ll be switched on.”
“A win is the main thing on Saturday night.”
“Everybody wants a knockout, but if I get a win on points I’ll be really happy.”
McCrory is delighted to be boxing on a big Frampton card, and notes the potential enormity of the night.
“Hopefully not, but this could be the last time that Frampton fights in Belfast,” he notes.
“He’s had a great career, been a world champion, and I’m a massive fan of his.”
“Frampton’s a star. He’s Ireland’s biggest boxer for the last 20 years. He brings massive numbers. For me to get on this, for me, is massive.”
I was at the Scott Quigg fight and, even though it was in Manchester, it was like Belfast. This being in Belfast, I can only imagine what it’s going to be like.
Part of the booming Immanuel Boxing Academy, McCrory is enjoying his surroundings in the Glen Road gym.
The Ulsterman described how “we’ve a great team. Anto Cacace just fought for a British title, was very unlucky, we should have actually had a British champion in our camp. Then we’ve Lewis Crocker, the Upton Brothers, Ger Healy who’s fighting for a Celtic title soon, it’s great.”
“Local lads, Steven Ward, when he’s in Belfast, he comes and trains with us. It’s great sparring. The gym’s buzzing. Ray Ginley, he knows boxing.”
The card on Saturday will be shown across Channel 5 and Spike TV, however McCrory’s fight takes place before the live broadcast begins.
That said, the Kieran Farrell-managed fighter isn’t complaining and reasoned that “I think I might be first so it doesn’t look like I’ll be on Spike, but just to be on the show is good. My time will come, that’s enough for me at the minute.”
“The cameras will be on so if I put on a show it will get on!”