Back to Belfast – Hearn believes McCarthy and Tennyson can bring boxing back to the SSE Arena in 2021

Eddie Hearn believes Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] and James Tennyson could be the fighters to bring big time boxing and the Sky Sports cameras back to the SSE Arena.

Matchroom ran shows with Paul McCloskey, Carl Frampton. and Ryan Burnett in Belfast over the years, but have been missing from the capital of Irish boxing since 2017.

Hearn believes the time might be right for a return and – if Tommy McCarthy wins the European title on the Usyk Chisora PPV undercard on Saturday – he will look at doing a show in Belfast pandemic permitting next year.

Indeed, Hearn, who also promotes Katie Taylor, believes in recent British lightweight title winner and ‘The Mac Attack’ he has a duo that could bring regular fight nights to Belfast.

“Carl Frampton has done incredible, obviously we had some fun with Ryan Burnett until he stepped down in his career, but I feel like with [McCarthy] and Tennyson – I love watching James Tennyson I think he’s such an exciting fighter – there’s massive potential for [McCarthy] and James Tennyson to co main event a card in Belfast next year, and start getting back to the Odyssey once the crowds are back,” said the Matchroom boss.

Hearn’s working relationship with Mark Dunlop means the other MHD fighters Paul Hyland and Eric Donovan may also benefit.

There could also be chances provided to other Irish fighters and with regular fight nights back at the Ulster Hall and the Feile Fight Night, Belfast could be a real hub.

Speaking with regard to the work Dunlop does for his fighters, Hearn said:

“This guy Mark Dunlop he does not leave me alone. I promise [Tommy McCarthy] would not be on this card on Saturday without Mark Dunlop.

“He just doesn’t leave me alone. He starts pulling on the heart strings ‘this kid he deserves an opportunity, he’s been through everything’. I am like ‘alright stick him on’.”

A return to Belfast would depend heavily on ‘Big Tommy’ claiming the European title tomorrow night. The 29-year-old takes on Bilal Laggoune [25(14)-2(0)-1]

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 sport for a living for 19 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