Disappointed Feargal McCrory wants changes following Europa war


‘Hard work, dedication’ it’s the mantra of the richest boxer on the planet, but it’s not an ethos that helps every fighter – and Feargal McCrory [8(3)-0] may need a change.

There are pros who have to put in the hard work into paying jobs just to survive and it hampers their ability to be dedicated.

Trying to mix earning a necessary living and fighting at a high level is something those fighters without promotional backing struggle with regularly.

At first glance, it hasn’t quite seemed to have hampered the Coalisland super featherweight. McCrory had worked his way to 7-0 rather impressively and has registered knockout wins over Paul Holt and Jay Carney that suggest he has the ability to move to the next level.

Indeed, the Ulster boxer even caught the eye of Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn with both his fighting style and his ticket-selling prowess.

However, speaking after a points win over Rafael Castillo in Belfast on Saturday night, the 25-year-old did hint he was struggling with marrying a 40-hour week as a gas worker with the kind of training he feels he needs to perform at his best.

“You can’t work full time and be a professional boxer,” said the fighter who commutes a 130-km round trip daily to train with the legendary John Breen in Belfast.

“You can’t work 40 hours in the week and be a full-time boxer on top of it. You can’t do it. I have a daughter and I have to provide. I am not suggesting I have to knock it [boxing] on the head, but I have to sit down and work out with my family and my team how it can work.”

“Possibly a break might help? Going running before work and then to the gym – it’s burning the candle at both ends, you might as well be going out at the weekends.”

It was relatively downbeat from a fighter who is all action in the ring but reserved out of it.

The comments may have roots in the fact he didn’t stop a fighter with a record of 14(6)-40(14)-3 despite dropping him in the second, but Castillo is not your average journeyman. The Nicaraguan will make you work for your victory and is always game.

McCrory testified to that being the case after the entertaining the six round clash, but while most would argue he will benefit from an all-action 18 minutes, the fighter himself didn’t seem overjoyed with the manner in which he gained the win at the Europa Hotel.

“He was a tough man fair play to him. He came to fight and he came to win. I had him badly hurt and he dug deep and came back,” reflected McCrory before revealing that he suffered an unfortunate injury of sorts.

“He caught me a cracking shot in the second round right on the throat and it affected me. I wasn’t hurt, but I couldn’t get my breath back. He crushed my windpipe in and it made it hard to get air back into the body, even through my nose,” he continued.

“He did what a journeyman did and survived, but you have to say fair play to him he was tough. That was the first time I went past four. I was performing well in the gym and was confident coming in and there are a few things we need to change. I have spoken to the team about them and hopefully we can implement them.”

Up until Saturday’s clash on the MHD Promoted Assassin Creed card McCrory has been a bit of a seek and destroy merchant.

However, in his most recent dust-up, the Breen’s Gym man was trying to box more. Trading on guile rather than guts is something he has been working on and may implement more moving forward.

“We are trying to learn as much as we can in our first 10 fights. That’s the apprenticeship time. I was trying to execute the things we were working on in the gym during in the ring and under the circumstances of a fight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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