A regular at the Elite Senior Championships, the Waterford super middle was back in the National Stadium and cruised to a comfortable debut win over Curtis Gargano.
A fighter that has been out of the ring a while, ‘Built2Last’ was delighted to start fulfilling his lifetime’s ambition of being a pro boxer.
McCarthy believes he dealt with the debut nerves well and speaking to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards he described how “I was a bit anxious, but I was more excited than anything. I was really, really up for it and I think the performance showed that.”
“I was trying to stay calm, not get too excited when I caught him, get the workrate up – and do what I was told!”
“You did great,” interjected coach Steven O’Rourke. “He kept his composure, cut him off in the ring, and did what he had to do.”
Gargano will probably be a unique opponent for McCarthy. The Manchester entertainer does not come to fight, spending his time instead looking to play-act, frustrate, and wind opponents up.
A crowd favourite in a ‘panto villain’ sort of a way, Gargano in many ways is a bit of a nightmare opponent, but McCarthy didn’t mind too much.
“It’s different, I enjoyed it!” he said.
“I got wound up once or twice, but I was told to stay calm, don’t play in to it. I got the hang of it after a while.”
McCarthy brought one of the more sizeable crowds on the night, with blue caps inscribed with ‘B2L’ taking over an entire block of the National Stadium.
The St Paul’s graduate is grateful for the support and noted how “the whole of Waterford really gets behind me, they always did in the amateurs, it’s a lot bigger now, and it’s going to grow and grow and grow.”
“They drive me on, one hundred percent.”
The win reaffirmed McCarthy’s decision to turn professional at the age of 30 and the Déise man is keen to build.
McCarthy outlined how “I’ve always been [more suited to the pros]. I’ve always wanted to turn and maybe this is the right time for me.”
“The head is in a lot better place right now. I’ll go back to the club now, sit down, have a chat, and see what’s there.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography