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‘AGREED’- Tommy McCarthy to challenge Lawrence Okolie for the European title

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In some form of cruiserweight plot twist Lawerence Okolie [14(11)-0] will defend his European title against Tommy McCarthy [16(8)- 2(1)].

The Belfast fighter has been mandatory for the strap for sometime now and was more than confident his next fight would be for the famous blue belt.

However, it was assumed, indeed all but nailed on that ‘The Mack Attack’ would challenge a yet to be confirmed opponent for the vacant title.

London’s Okolie was all set for a world title shot and talks of him fighting Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO strap had progressed well beyond the rumour stage.

Indeed, it was set the Shane McGuigan trained fighter was just waiting for a date and venue with regard to that fight.

Noise around that world title fight has significantly lessened since the turn of the year. It now appears the world title fight has been put on the back burner and ‘The Sauce’ will defend against ‘Big Tommy’.

The European Boxing Union have confirmed that a deal between the teams has been reached with a confirmed date and venue imminent.

“The parties reached an agreement. Date of the match TBA by Matchroom Sports,” the EBU stated.

Some may have preferred to see the Olympian go on and win a world title and vacating to allow the Pete Taylor trained fighter an easier passage to Continental success.

That way the pair could have meet at world level. However, McCarthy has always been adamant he feels he has the beating of Matchroom’s favourite cruiserweight and he secured mandatory status for the EBU title ahead of those ranked above him because he made it clear he would fight the English man.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com before Christmas he revealed : “Mark[Dunlop] was saying the top seven can fight for it and I was seventh. The six in front of me didn’t want to fight Okolie and I said ‘fuck that of course I’ll fight him’. So those six are at the back of the que.”

Speaking with regard to possibly fighting Okolie at a time when he felt the pair might meet at world level down the line he said: “I think Okolie is big strong and akward. It’s ugly but effective. I know I am better than him in terms of skill, but in fairness to him he always seems to win, so it’s a fight the fans can get excited about.”

There may be a chance that world title negotiations have stalled and Okolie may still vacate. If that happens McCarthy will still be mandatory for the belt, but for now according to the EBU the Belfast and London fighter will be the next duo to fight for the Continental crown.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com