Injury saw Graham McCormack denied the chance to box in a big domestic dust-up in December but he will get a second chance in Dublin at the end of the month when the Limerick middleweight faces former sparring partner Jade Karam on
McCormack was set to face the Cork-based South African in Mayo late last year before a back injury forced him to withdraw. Stepping up to six rounds for the first time and going in against his toughest opponent to date, McCormack is determined to set up a big year – with potential fight cards in Limerick in the pipeline.
That said, the 31-year-old is single-minded at present and promises,
“I’ve only been thinking about Jade. With the injury, when I went to the doctor and they gave me five days to see if I could fight, I kind of knew then that I wasn’t going to be fighting the way I was feeling. I talked to Stephen [Sharpe, manager] and he said ‘look, we’ll just postpone the fight until the next show. I never took Jade out of my head, I never took my eye off the ball. As soon as I could go back training, I did go back training. I went back training a bit earlier than I was supposed to, actually.”
Giving an encouraging update on his fitness, the Eddie Hyland-trained pro explained how “the back is great. I gave it seven weeks until I started punching again. I was told eight weeks, I gave it seven and then I was back light jogging. Other than that I’ve been doing exactly what they were saying, I’ve been getting some great treatment from my physio. Now it feels great, it took a while to get good but now it feels great. I’m three months on from it now and I feel good.”
In his first fight since last July, McCormack will be wary of the dangerous Karam.
“Jade is a threat, he throws big shots, wild shots, he’s dangerous. A fight is a fight, anyone can hurt you in there with gloves on. I’m fully focused on Jade. Every fight, I take it as a risky fight. We’ve seen people come over and upset the odds. I’ve spoken to Jade about this fight, Jade is up for this fight. If he wins this he could get a big fight somewhere else. I am not taking any risks at all, Jade is a dangerous fighter and I will be prepared when I get into that ring. I am looking forward to the challenge, it’s a step up and I’m looking forward to it and showing what I can do.”
McCormack features on the bill alongside a number of his Team TNT stablemates – Jake Hanney, Siobhan O’Leary, and Carl McDonald – and looks set to feature live as part of the TG4 broadcast. It’s been a long journey for a man who credits boxing as having helped transform his life and McCormack is enjoying the ride.
He outlined how “it’s massive, it’s a massive show. Well done to Boxing Ireland and Assassin for working together and getting us all out there. It looks like it’s going to be amazing and real fun show to be a part of. I love boxing, I’m a fan, and I’m really enjoying this journey that I’m on, I’m grateful to be on it – so I’m loving all of this!”
The undercard also features appearances for Limerick-based super feather Siobhan O’Leary. Tickets for the night cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and (€100 VIP) and are available from Ticketmaster.ieor Universe.com or direct at 083 047 0006.