A glittering amateur career saw him pick up shelves worth of Irish titles, World Junior bronze, Commonwealth Games silver, and he rose to as high as #9 in the world rankings.
By comparison, Richard Riakporhe [8(7)-0] is a novice, having not had a major amateur career of note, focusing on college having escaped a life of crime and turning pro in 2016.
McCarthy believes this gulf in experience will show tomorrow night when he challenges the WBA Inter-Continental champion in Peterborough, live on Sky Sports, feeling he will be too skilful for a fighter he sees as a ‘novice’.
Riakporhe does not mind the label and the Londoner agrees that he is inexperienced but warns McCarthy that he has a number of other qualities that will see him emerge victorious with a knockout on the JD NXTGEN card.
The DiIlian Whyte-managed puncher outlined how “I’m looking forward to fighting Tommy, he’s said that I’m big novice and he’s right, he’s absolutely right.”
“I’m a big novice with big power, big heart, big will, big desire, big ambitions, and I’m going to leave the ring with my hand raised by any means necessary.”
Riakporhe is confident and stated that “I see myself getting the win, maybe by knockout, I’m not too sure, it depends on how relaxed I am and if I warm into things.”
“I see myself getting the win, 100 percent, by any means necessary.”
The South London 29-year-old has come a long way since almost losing his life following a stabbing incident in his teens and the university graduate sees his story as an inspirational one.
RIakporge described how “I’ve become like a reference to a lot of people all over the world that if you dedicate yourself and strive for greatness it can come true – with a lot of discipline and sacrifice.”
“It’s like a dream come through, coming from boxing on small hall shows at the York Hall to now on the big stage. I’ve fought on a few Dillian Whyte undercards, on the Tony Bellew versus [Oleksandr] Usyk undercard where I won my first title versus Sam Hyde in Manchester.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. Where I want to go, I need to take these challenges and deal with them accordingly, it’s very important.”