WEMBLEY’S middleweight star Gary Corcoran is looking to emulate the success of fellow Irish travellers Billy Joe Saunders and Tyson Fury by winning a world title of his own.
The undefeated Corcoran hopes to see more boxers with traveller backgrounds breaking through the amateur scene into the professional ranks.
Gypsy boxers have long been a feature in the amateur boxing scene but Corcoran hopes the success of world champions Fury and Saunders will inspire more to pursue the sport more seriously.
Corcoran, who challenges Bristol’s Danny Butler for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Welterweight title on Saturday February 6at the National Stadium, Dublin, said: “We’re all trying to do as much as we can to improve the image of the traveller community. It’s not like that at all, sure you get some bad eggs but most of us are ultra-competitive and constantly striving to be the very best.
The 25 year-old was raised as one of 12 brothers and sisters on an Irish traveller’s site in Wembley and says his rich traveller heritage is a key part of his armoury. With all eight of his brothers being boxing fanatics he was never short of sparring partners.
He said: “Growing up around traveller communities makes you tough. When I was younger I was a bit wild and loved getting involved in scraps with my brothers and other kids on the site. I decided to take that love for fighting into the ring where and I’m constantly getting better and better.”
Known as the ‘Hell Raiser’ for his ferocious fighting style, Corcoran has ripped through his first 14 opponents; claiming six knockouts along the way. The natural-born scrapper rarely takes a step back and has earned a reputation for his non-stop punching style. However, the Wembley man revealed that he’ll be approaching Danny Butler with some fresh ideas come fight night.
He said: “My fans can still expect non-stop action from me but I’ll be trying out some new things against Butler. You’re going to see a new Gary in Dublin, me and my trainer Peter Stanley have come up with a game plan but you’ll have to wait and see! I’ve got a lot of respect for Danny but there’s only going to be one winner and that’s me.”
The super-welterweight division is currently jam-packed with talent such as WBO king Liam Smith, British and Commonwealth Champion Liam Williams and new IBF International Champion Ahmet Patterson. Corcoran is excited at the prospect of beating them on the way to his ultimate goal; a world title.
He said: “They all interest me, I’ll be looking to take them on on my way to the very top. There’s some massive fights to be made this year and I want to be involved in as many as I can. I’m not looking past Danny Butler for now but once I’ve dealt with him I can start looking forward.”
The Wembley man says he’s taken a lot of confidence from inflicting defeats on the previously unbeaten Rick Skelton and Rick Godding and is aiming to kick-off 2016 by claiming another scalp.
He added, “I’m looking to make a big statement. I have a lot of family and friends over there that will be coming to watch me so I’m going to give them a big performance so they can go home happy. Irish fight fans are the best in the world, they absolutely love any combat sport and will be making an absolute racket that’s for sure.”
Chief support on the card sees exciting Dublin ace Jamie Kavanagh step up to challenge for the first title of his career when he faces Portugal’s Antonio Joao Bento for the Vacant WBO European Lightweight Championship.
An action packed up line up features some of the best Irish talent, including: Declan Geraghty, Stephen Ormand, Patrick Hyland, Phillip Sutcliffe Jnr, Anthony Fitzgerland, Gary Sweeney, Craig O’Brien and Sean Creagh, plus unbeaten London star Romeo Romaeo.