by B.A. Cass
“Some gypsies are different than other gypsies,” Gary Corcoran says, reflecting on his boyhood growing up on an Irish Traveller site in Wembley. “We stayed in one place even though we’re called Travellers. It was a trailer park. All family, cousins—all Travellers, all gypsies.”
Photo Credit: TR Sports Agency
Travellers face discrimination and marginalization from society at large, but Corcoran doesn’t feel these things had much of an effect on him. “Can be difficult,” he says, “but it’s how you act.”
There is a culture of fighting in the Irish Traveller community. “It was bred into us,” Corcoran says. “I’m happy just to punch someone in the face.”
This morning Corcoran heads off for Australia to promote his upcoming fight against Jeff Horn, the man who surprised the world by beating Manny Pacquiao last July. As the taciturn Corcoran puts it, “We’re going to Australia to sort things out.”
Like most of the rest of the world, Corcoran never heard of Jeff Horn until Horn fought Manny Pacquiao. What does he think of Horn’s boxing abilities? “Not a bad fighter,” Corcoran says nonchalantly. “Not a bad fighter, but very beatable. I’ll beat him. I just beat what you put in front of me.”
Corcoran has boxed professionally for six years, but his upcoming fight against Horn is the biggest of his career, at least in terms of the spotlight it has offered him. “Getting used to it,” he says of the increased media attention. “I don’t really mind.”
Of course, he’s never traveled so far away from home, and his fight against Horn will be his first professional fight outside of Great Britain. “Big travel for me,” he admits. But his family will be there to lend their support, which is obviously very important to Corcoran. After all, Corcoran picked up the sport from his family and he became a professional boxer in part because he looked up to his older brother. Many of the men and women who first encouraged the scrappy young Gary Corcoran to fight as a boy will be there in Brisbane on December 13 to see him challenge Jeff Horn for his WBO welterweight title.
Some fighters run their mouths and like to talk about how dangerous they are. Gary Corcoran isn’t one of them. He is focused, determined, and speaks deliberately, as befits a man known for his brutality in the ring.
When asked if he is going to give Jeff Horn hell, this is what Corcoran had to say: “Yep. Of course.”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch