The fact Marco Antonio Periban [26(17)-5(2)-1] is fighting for his boxing life this weekend makes a tough fight even harder suggests Padraig McCrory [13(7)-0].
The Belfast super middle takes on the former world title challenger on the Return of the Mick card at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.
The Dee Walsh-trained puncher admits it’s ‘by far’ the toughest test of his career and argues it’s made harder by the fact the Mexican comes massively motivated.
‘The Hammer’ could force the final nail into the experienced 37-year-old’s career coffin with victory on the stacked card and claims that makes the step-up steeper.
The form fighter is also aware that Periban sees the fight as a stepping stone back to world-level fights and the paydays that come with that.
“This is by far my toughest fight,” McCrory told Irish-boxing.com.
“My opponent has operated at the highest of levels and he will see this as his last opportunity to get back there. I’m expecting him to come fight for his career and try and take the win.”
Face Off@padraigmc1988 v Marco Periban— Boxing Tickets NI (@BoxingTicketsNI) August 4, 2022
WBC Silver Super Middleweight title
Can the Hammer add the Mexican to his stoppage tally, aiming for 4 in a row on his return to the SSE Arena#McCroryPeriban pic.twitter.com/M8k2BjjRM8
While Saturday represents a big opportunity for the former world level Mexican, it’s also a massive chance for McCrory to close in on the big fights he’s been calling for – and like his opponent, he is determined to make the most of the opportunity.
In fact, he is predicting a career-best display.
“The best performance of my career,” he says when asked for a prediction. “I’m feeling good. I’ve made a full recovery from my injury and have been flying in the gym,” he adds before commenting on what victory would do for his career.
“A win will push me towards European and World honours and towards the potential of leaving boxing in a good position in life.”
Due to his fights with the likes of Sadio Bika, Badou Jack, James DeGale, Joshua Buatsi and J’Leon Love, former Golden Boy signing Periban is relatively well known and a fighter many may have seen before.
McCrory recalls watching the former title challenger in some of those big fights and never envisioned he’d one day have to prepare to trade leather with him.
“I remember him versus Love and against Degale,” he said. “They were both very different fights. To be honest I never thought I’d be sharing the ring with someone of his ability then. But I’m a different animal now.”
McCrory pays tribute to his Grandmother Maura on his shorts in his 14th pro fight and seems to be bringing her fighting spirit into the ring with him.
“My granny was an amazing woman who fought for the rights of women and society in general, she will be remembered always and will be with me on the night.”