In 1989, Glenn McCrory did the unthinkable and captured the IBF world championship in Durham. In doing so, McCrory became the first boxer to win a world title from the North East.
However, three decades on and the ‘Gentleman’ is preparing for the biggest fight of his life – Mount Everest. McCrory, who bids to reach the summit in 2020, revealed his reasoning behind the audacious effort.
He exclusively told World Boxing News: “It’s for Children’s Christmas List, which is a charity for UK kids.
“I lost my brother when he was very young, I lost my nephew at 16 and my best mate in the boxing ring, so it’s for the kids and if there’s anything in the world that’s going to push one foot in front of each other, it’s helping kids out to have a life. It’s a cause that is really true to my heart and will keep my going.
“Growing up, watching adventurous films was part of my life like any kid, but there’s one thing that always stood out from what the likes of John Wayne had done, it was Mount Everest.
“It just seemed like the most amazing thing you could do. Winning a world title was impossible, climbing Mount Everest was double impossible.
“So that is where I started my goals. But when you’re a kid, you don’t think about how much it’s going to cos, which is around £40k.”
McCrory has already experienced what it feels like to be on top of the world having previously conquered Kilimanjaro. The biggest part of his preparation ahead of the charity climb will be in September, where he tackles Mount Manaslu.
McCrory gasps for a second or two before expressing his emotions at the task in hand.
“I’m petrified. I can’t actually anticipate what it must be like. There’s also something so majestic about it, you get to stand on the top and see the world – that’s if you can get through the cold, the pain and the altitude.
“If you can get through all of that, then you stand on top of the world. Only a tiny fraction of people has seen that. It must be amazing. It’d be like winning the world championship ten-times.
“It’s something that you don’t get the chance to do, very few people have done it, just 4,000 have ever climbed this mountain. It’s just beggar’s belief. There is a limited window on when you can climb because of the gulf stream.
“It’s okay me saying I’m doing it but it’s only when you actually look into it and what it entails before you find out the enormity of it.
“You can’t panic, I know if I do then I’m dead. It’s as simple as that.”
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Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95