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“I was vomiting in between rounds” – Fearless Feargal McCrory fights for the fans

Feargal McCrory probably shouldn’t have boxed on Saturday night.

The Coalisland super featherweight gave a lethargic performance in a post-main event floater on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov card at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

McCrory [7(3)-0] scraped by Welsh prospect Callum Busuttil in a fight that was cut to a four rounder and he has now provided some context on his performance.

The Tyrone puncher has revealed that he fell violently ill on the day of the fight but insisted on fighting even when coach John Breen looked to pull him out. The reason? McCrory did not want to let down the hundreds of fans who made the long trip across Ulster for the fight.

“I was sick as a dog,” McCrory told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I couldn’t keep my eyes open [in the dressing room] and fell asleep for 45 minutes at one stage.”

“I was vomiting and vomiting, then John was going to pull me out before we even got into the ring. I couldn’t have pulled out after the people who came down, bought a ticket, paid babysitters, buses, and even took time off work.”

“I’d rather have died fighting in that ring than let all them people down.”

Perhaps for the best, McCrory’s scheduled TV debut didn’t come to fruition.

The night just seemed to go on and on for the sickly 25 year old, and it was after 11:00pm before he got in the ring.

Describing the perils of being in a float boat, McCrory recalled how “when I heard I was a live TV floater I was delighted and couldn’t wait to make my live Sky Sports debut but it obviously didn’t work out that way.”

“We were told we were going in second, then we were told we were going in after James [Tennyson] if he stopped his man [which he did via third round knockout], then we were told we were in after [Paul] Hylo and then we were told we were in after Ryan’s fight.”

“So all in all we had warmed up four times and tried to stay loose in between cooling down again. The other lad was on the same page so it was tough for us both.”

When the pair eventually got in the ring, Busuttil gave McCrory plenty of problems, but the home fighter got the nod on a scoreline of 39-37.

McCrory looked in discomfort during the fight, and he credited his fans for getting him through the bout.

Analysing the clash, McCrory admits that “it was a tough fight, it was close, he was game and a good lad but at the end of the day I boxed him at 30%.”

“If the Feargal McCrory that boxed Jay Carney or Paul Holt showed up I would have stopped him in a couple of rounds. ”

“After the first round I was wrecked. It was all very unfortunate that it happened the day of a fight.”

“I was vomiting in between rounds also, but I had to dig deep and show balls to pull through but with the support I have, they carried me and give me that extra push.”

“I feel satisfied, I boxed at 30% and got the result. I scored the fight that I won two rounds, lost one, drew one. I know a lot of judges don’t score level rounds so I can’t disagree with the scoring.”

The fan-favourite, who brought his largest ever crowd with him on Saturday night, paid tribute to the travelling supporters and the one’s that couldn’t make it.

While most had left the SSE Odyssey Arena at that time, basking a post-unification glow from Ryan Burnett’s win, the followers of McCrory all stayed, making a huge noise in the cavernous venue as he walked in.

“It means the world,” reflected McCrory

“They are the best supporters about and I genuinely believe that. Every bar in Coalisland and Dungannon was full waiting on the fight so when I fight it brings a great atmosphere to the whole community.”

It may be a while now though until the roar is heard again, with McCrory indicating that he will be taking some time out to rectify a long-standing shoulder problem which has plagued him at numerous points throughout his career.

McCrory stated that “to be honest it was the worst camp I’ve had. Through nobody’s fault.”

“John and Eamonn [Magee] were great and we all worked as hard as we possibly could but I was totally hampered with an ongoing shoulder injury which I will have surgery on very soon.”

“We worked as hard as we could in regards to the injury but our camp was not the best. I only sparred about 50 rounds, many with one arm, compared to the usual 100 plus rounds of sparring.”

“I’ll be back in the new year one hundred percent, something I have never been in a fight.


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: joneill6@tcd.ie