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‘The Pressure is All On Him’ – Graham McCormack Relishing Underdog Status

The pressure is all on Paul Kean[13(1)-2] according to Graham McCormack [6(1)-0].

The Limerick middleweight fights the Scot for the vacant BUI Celtic title in Glasgow on November 19 – and the G’Train says he can go into the fight whistling.

McCormack claims as the home fighter, the puncher with more experience and the better record the onus is on Kean to produce – and he is enjoying the freedom that comes with that.

“I feel for the first time in my career there is no pressure on me, no pressure at all,” McCormack told Irish-boxing.com.

“The pressure is all on him,” he adds before hinting at a bit of a siege mentality.

“They’re bringing me in as the away fighter and I’m thriving off that. I’m enjoying camp, I’m feeling great and I’m really looking forward to going to Scotland and coming home with the title.”

Aberdeen’s Kean will be deemed favourite heading into the title fight. Not only does the bout play out on the 28-year-old’s promotion, he has fought over eight rounds before, has experienced four title fights, and knows what it takes to buckle a title around his waist.

However, McCormack isn’t dwelling on who the Scottish southpaw has fought or what he has won. The 34-year-old Shaun Kelly trained fighter has looked at the fighter, not the fighter’s record.

“I’m not gettin’ too caught up in him or his record, to be honest. The bottom line is he’s a tall rangy boxer and that’s all I’m focused on. We have a plan and perfect sparring for this camp. We will be ready for whatever he brings in 5 weeks.”

The 34-year-old is confident of getting the job done but aware it won’t be easy work and that he will have to earn the right to buckle the title around his waist.

“I’m very confident but I’m not stupid and know it’s not an easy fight. I’m fighting the Scottish champion in Scotland, he will be up for it and he is a good fighter.”

The fight represents McCormack’s first title fight and comes not long after he ended over a year and a half out of the ring with victory over Jordan Latimer.

Considering the circumstances a 2021 title fight is somewhat a surprise but a welcome one.

“The fight was put to me and I was excited about it straight away. I talked to my coach and he was happy to take it too. We just said yeah, let’s go, these are the fights I’m in boxing for. Without risk, there is no reward,” he said before revealing how the fight came about.

“I have to give props to my manager Ian Gaughran for this one. He was in contact with Sam Kynoch about another fight, something happened with that one, so Sam offered this one and again we were happy to take it.

“It’s a big fight for me and I want to thank my manager Ian and all my sponsors I couldn’t do it without their help.”

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 sports for a living for over 20 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com