Feargal McCrory has called for the entire county of Tyrone to get behind him ahead of the biggest fight of his life.
Following nine wins over the past three years, the popular Coalisland super featherweight will fight Dubliner Stephen McAfee for the vacant Irish title on Saturday November 24th in the headline fight of the ‘Celtic Clash 7’ card at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh, Dublin and ‘Fearless Feargal’ wants to bring an army with him.
The majority of McCrory’s fights have taken place in Belfast and the Ulsterman is disappointed that his title challenge won’t be. However, he is confident there will be a Tyrone takeover in Dublin on November 24th.
“The Boxing Union of Ireland said that it has to happen in Dublin for some strange reason,” he explained. “It would surely make more financial sense for the fighters to run the bill up here due to my support but don’t get me wrong, we’ll still come and take over his own back yard!”
In McAfee, McCrory faces an undefeated foe and one who is the mandatory challenger for the green belt.
“I don’t know too much about Stephen to be honest,” said McCrory. “he’s probably the same about me but what I do know is that he’s a tough fighter who will have my full attention. I hear he was a very good kickboxer but I was also a very good amateur boxer.
“That could be the difference. I’m not taking my eye off the ball for a second, anything can happen in this sport.
“I watched three or four rounds of him and I wasn’t overly impressed. I don’t want to sound disrespectful, he is a professional boxer and I won’t disrespect him, but I am confident in my ability.”
An Irish title would be a great way to round off 2018 which, up to now, has been something of a nightmare year for McCrory, who is a full-time gas worker on top of his daily 130km round-trips to Belfast to train with veteran coach John Breen.
Following a fight in February, injury and lack of opportunity kept Irish boxing’s hardest worker out for a full eight months before a recent win in Dublin over tough Nicaraguan Brayan Mairena.
“I learned a lot about the sport this year, good and bad,” McCrory reflected.
“This year has been very frustrating in terms of fights but we’ve stayed focused and trained away to stay in some sort of shape while waiting on dates. I’m excited to get back to business and get the momentum built up again. I was out for a bit with injury, and it was a knee injury so I couldn’t run, I couldn’t even shadow box.
“I thought I did okay against Mairena, but it wasn’t the best me and I think Stephen McAfee wouldn’t have got the win against him. That fighter was better than Stephen McAfee. I believe if McAfee was to fight Brayan Mairena he would lose. You have to take into consideration I fought that lad after being out for a while.
“He was a very tough wee man. He was solid, took some good shots, and kept coming. I found him wild too, unpredictable with the head, but cute at the same time. I had him going once or twice. I hurt him in the sixth but I knew not to jump in because he was tough, fair play to him. I wasn’t out since February so I wanted to get the rounds in. I boxed as I was told.”
With his comeback win in the bag, all roads now lead to the Tyrone invasion on November 24th and a chance for McCrory, a four-time Irish amateur champion with Clonoe BC.
“A win over McAfee would mean the world to me,” said the 26-year-old. “Every fighter wants to win their national title and I would like to add the professional title to my Irish amateur titles,”
The card on November 24th also features an Irish title fight at bantamweight between Carl McDonald and Dylan McDonagh, a Jobstown derby, and a six-round lightweight war between Crumlin’s Martin Quinn and Karl Kelly from Monkstown. Also due to appear on the undercard alongside O’Leary are Crumlin welterweight Martin Wall, Bray light middleweight Eddie Treacy, Stillorgan middleweight Cillian Reardon, Kilbarrack flyweight Lynn Harvey, Smithfield welterweight Keane McMahon, Navan middleweight Eddie Treacy, and debutants in Kerry heavyweight Kevin Cronin and Limerick lightweight Siobhan O’Leary.
Tickets for the fight night are £50 (ringside) and £30 (unreserved) and are available from the boxers involved. Feargal McCrory can be contacted through his social media or by ringing him at 07511672104.