McCrory Ready To Shock The World In Life-Changing Fight With Berlanga

February 17, 2024
2 months
Padraig McCrory

Padraig McCrory has said he is fully prepared for the “fight that can change my life” when he finally faces super-middleweight rival Edgar Berlanga next weekend.

The unbeaten Irishman (18-0-0 9 KO) was in talks to fight Berlanga last June but the American ultimately fought Jason Quigley instead. He may have had to wait eight months for the bout, but McCrory will get his chance to prove himself against one of America’s highest-rated talents on February 24 at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Florida.

Berlanga (21-0-0 16 KO) is the pre-fight favorite and stopped his first 16 opponents in the first round, although his last five bouts have gone the full distance and he was given a fair challenge by Quigley, aside from the four knockdowns Berlanga delivered.

“I know that I am more than ready for this fight,” McCrory told ProBox TV. “I was offered the Berlanga fight this past June, we did agree a deal, but then Matchroom announced the Jason Quigley fight. Which was a bit of a surprise. I ended up having a good 10 rounds in Belfast [against Steed Woodall] instead. But this one is the big fight that I am looking for.

“[Berlanga] is a good fighter. He has some great attributes, but I still don’t think he is the finished article. There are flaws in him; there are also a lot of stories of him getting dropped in sparring and in his fights in the amateurs. I thought Quigley won every round he didn’t get dropped in; he dropped him four or five times in that fight. Again, he showed flaws in his game.

“Quigley is not as big of a puncher as me either. But, Quigley is a great boxer, and he showed Berlanga can be hit clean. That’s what I’ll be planning on doing.”

McCrory, 35, is nine years older than Berlanga but has one year less experience as a professional boxer having turned pro in June 2017. Berlanga’s debut took place 14 months earlier. In fact, as recently as four years ago, the Irishman was still working as a nightclub security guard.

“We have spent most of the camp in Belfast, it’s where I spend all my camps,” McCrory added. “Until recently I’ve been working as a personal trainer. Boxing, people think you are making millions, but you are not. I’ve got three young kids at home, and for me, that’s my main priority. I’ll work anywhere. Boxing is secondary. But this is a great opportunity – one that can change my life.”

McCrory said it wasn’t until he went to Frankfurt, Germany to contest the IBO light-heavyweight title against Leon Bunn in October 2022 that he started to earn substantial money from the sport. McCrory won that fight with a sixth-round stoppage – the last time he stopped an opponent inside the distance.

“It was all ticket deals at the beginning of my career until I went to Germany,” he said. “I won the IBO title at light heavyweight. That’s the only time I started really making any money from boxing. To be honest, I probably don’t need to work, but you just don’t know how long boxing is going to last. I’ve got a personal business – it would be silly to give that up because it complements the boxing.”

Much of the focus ahead of this fight has been on Berlanga, who with an impressive victory can put himself closer to a world title shot in a packed super-middleweight division. Undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez is the ultimate fight for any boxer at 168lbs but there are big bouts to be made throughout the rankings with the likes of David Benavidez, Jaime Munguia, and Diego Pacheco.

But it also represents a huge opportunity for McCrory, who is ranked third by the WBO.

“At the moment I get to spend a lot of time with my family and train as a full-time boxer, but I also still work,” McCrory said. “This camp I’ve put all that behind me to focus on this fight. It’s good to have the experience of going in as the away fighter and as the underdog, because it’s the type of fight in front of me again.”