Padraig McCrory retirement talk was given short shrift from pals

Padraig McCrory in action against Edgar Berlanga at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida
-Credit: (Image: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom)

Dee Walsh says any talk of Padraig McCrory retiring in the aftermath of his loss to Edgar Berlanga was given a short shrift from his pals. McCrory considered hanging up the gloves following that painful defeat in Florida back in February.

It was only the Belfast boxer's first defeat as a professional, but at the age of 35 many feared he may walk away from the sport after achieving some goals beyond his modest expectations.

McCrory has won titles in the super-middleweight division, and also lifted the IBO World light-heavyweight belt with a sensational knockout win over Leon Bunn in Germany.

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But as he prepares to return to action later this year, McCrory has been tipped to hit the heights once again by trainer Walsh.

"About a week after the Berlanga fight, Pody told me and Conor Quinn that he thought he might retire. He was hinting at it, but Conor and me just told him to wise up. We told him he's nowhere near finished. We told him to come on, because there is so much left in him.

Photo showing Padraig McCrory and Dee Walsh going through their paces
Padraig McCrory and Dee Walsh go through their paces -Credit:Belfast Live

"He has a lot of miles left on the clock, because he didn't turn pro until late. And that was probably his first hard fight. He was supposed to have hard fights along the way, but he knocked them all out.

"He had hand problems for a good while after he won in Germany, but it looks as if everything has healed how and he is ready to go again.

"I would like to see him back soon. As experienced as he is, he knows his body and what he can do. So he could fight in August.

"When he is ready, I will be there. He can get back into contention for another big fight. I would relish the big nights again with Pody."

McCrory has returned to some light training ahead of an expected comeback fight later this year. Walsh says the fighter known as 'The Hammer' has been in relaxed mood on the pads.

And he says the 35-year-old looks "sharper than before", and is even punching harder than he's ever done.

"Since he came back training he seems to be back on track again. To be honest with you, he is actually hitting harder and sharper than he was before the Berlanga fight," Walsh said.

"I am looking forward to seeing him fight again. He has been at this level for a while now.

"He has that first 'big one' out of the way, so he can be more relaxed now. He was happy to retire after the Berlanga fight, but I didn't want him to do that.

"I know there is a lot more in Pody. And since he has come back, I am actually more confident in him. I love what I am seeing recently."

Reflecting on the Berlanga fight four months ago, Walsh says it was a "different experience" that pushed the team out of their comfort zone.

He said: "It was different, and not one I particularly enjoyed. Small things sort of ruined it.

"I usually sit on the steps at the corner of the ring, but they made me sit back in the seating. Any time I stood up the commissioner made me sit down.

"I like to be involved. It might be a selfish thing, but I like to guide the fighter during the fight. Not that he can't do it himself, but it is a team effort. And I felt I wasn't able to do that in Florida.

"As for the result, it was nobody's fault. At the end of the day we came up against a great fighter in Berlanga, and I learned a lot through it."

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