Feargal McCrory after a 2023 fight.

McCrory bid stopped in 8th

“I went into his hometown, the lion’s den, and came up short. He was better than me on the night.” That was Feargal McCrory’s honest summation 48 hours after his bid for Lamont Roach, Jr.’s WBA super featherweight title ended with an eighth round TKO loss at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. last Friday night.

The previously undefeated Tyrone man [16-1, 8 KOs] lived up to his “Fearless” moniker with a gusty show of heart against the sharp punching Roach, who had him down once in the third stanza and twice in the fourth. McCrory beat the count on all three occasions and would continue to take the fight to Roach until a late explosion by the champion in the eighth forced McCrory’s corner to stop the fight at 2:51.

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“I went out on my shield and thank you to [trainer] Colin Morgan for saving me from myself,” the challenger posted on social media.

“We knew he was going to be sharp early on,” McCrory told the Echo. “We wanted to wear him down and take him to the late rounds -- it wasn't the case. It  didn't work out that way.”

On the attack from the first bell, the southpaw McCrory would get an early  taste of Roach’s sharpness. He was rocked by a quick, short left hook – the champion’s money punch – to the head but recovered enough to keep in the American’s face.

McCrory was putting some pressure on Roach in the second round when the champion countered with a double left hook to the body and head. Roach followed up with more hooks to win the round.

But it wasn’t until the third round that a Roach left hook to the head put McCrory on his knees for the first knockdown. Remarkably, the challenger would get back to work, throwing punches while Roach fought back.

Two body shots had McCrory down again late in the fourth. A straight right to the solar plexus saw him sink to the canvas in pain. He arose only to hit the deck again from a left hook to the liver some 10 seconds later.

Yet again the brave Irishman would shrug off the knockdowns and resume his challenge. He was competitive in rounds five and six before bravely withstanding another Roach rally in the seventh that lasted until the champion had seemingly punched himself out.

The end finally came late in the eighth stanza. After hurting the challenger with a right hand, Roach opened up again with several punches. Although reeling, McCrory remained on his feet. But his trainer Colin “Pops” Morgan had seen enough. With a towel in his hand, he signaled for referee Malik Waleed to stop the bout.   

Roach retained his world title while upping his ledger to 24-1-1 [9 KOs].For McCrory, there was just disappointment. “I expected to win the fight, I trained to win the fight and I tried to win the fight. But on the night, it just wasn’t my night. He was better than me on that particular night. I'm obviously bitterly disappointed.”

Asked what next, the 32-year-old, who went into fight ranked #12 in the world by the WBA, replied: “Rest.” 

Then in a couple of weeks he’ll start planning a route back to world title level.


At the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida, last weekend, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh [11-1, 5 KOs] avenged the only loss of his career against Sona Akale [9-2, 4 KOs], with a six-round unanimous points decision. 

The grandson of  Muhammad Ali  dropped Akale with a left hook in round three, but Akale fired back in round five with a fusillade of punches that hurt him. Ali Walsh then suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the sixth round but dug deep to finish the fight, using his right hand to connect on an aggressive Akale in the final seconds.

Ali Walsh prevailed with scores of 58-55 and 57-56 [twice].