Headline NewsThe 13th Round

Raza Reward too good to turn down says Ciaran McVarnock

Top Pro Gif Ad

Some may feel that Ciaran McVarnock [6(1)-0-1] has been handed the opportunity to move to the next level a little too early in his career.

The Belfast featherweight takes on Queensbury stablemate Raza Hamza [4(4)-0-1] in an eight-rounder on the annual Frank Warren dinner show in London on Monday October 24th.

‘Bunty’ however is confident about leaving the prospect stage of his career and feels that the opportunity was too good to turned down.

The Manchester-based fighter spoke to Irish-Boxing.com and explained that “the rewards are the main part of it.”

“I see either me or Raza moving onto bigger rounds and the next level, while the loser will have to wait on their chance coming again a few months down the line… I don’t want another chance, I want to push my career forward now.”

“That’s the reward I see.”

Birmingham puncher Hamza is by far the best opponent of McVarnock’s career, but he is not worried going into the fight at the Mayfair Hilton Hotel in London. The Irishman described how “I don’t see it as a risk, I don’t see it as a step up either, I see it as a good 50/50 fight.”

“I just see him as another opponent to be honest – he has two arms and two legs, a body and a face to punch.”

“The only thing that came into my head about the fight was to try and get out beforehand because I’ve only had half a round [a first round knockout of Ruslans Berdimuradovs in May] in a full year by time I fight Raza, while he fights Joe Beedon, who I have already beaten, at the end of this month.”

“The challenge just makes me more determined and put in that little bit extra in the gym.”

“I’ll go into this fight with the same mindset as any other fight.”

McVarnock added that “of course there is more that stands out about him than my other opponents.”

“He is a lot taller and, by his record, you can tell he can definitely bang.”

“But the people he fought weren’t me, and that’s what’s going to be the difference.”

“There is going to be a lot of technical boxing involved and I can’t just walk forward – as you can tell, he can punch a bit.”

A surprise match-up, both fighters deserve credit for taking so early in their careers. Both 24, McVarnock stressed that there is no rivalry between the pair, outlining how “there is no bitterness between us. I will shake his hand before and after the fight.”

“Raza as an opponent has just been put on us for this show.”

“We have both just agreed to fight each other and move on quicker than anyone expected.

“Most people out there with our records still want to fight journeymen and stay well looked after.”

Nevertheless, McVarnock is boldly confident ahead of the bout in five weeks time, and cheekily states that “my prediction is – may the best man win… and the loser go back to Birmingham!”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years