BBBoC order Watkins-McCarthy British title eliminator


The cruiserweight showdown between Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy and Swindon-Wexford fighter Luke Watkins has taken a big step toward being made.

This afternoon the British Boxing Board of Control have confirmed that they will sanction the fight as an official eliminator for the British title currently held by Matty Askin and have ordered purse bids.

Bids for the fight are due at the BBBoC offices by noon on Wednesday September 13th, with the bout having to take place

McCarthy’s manager Pat Magee has stated his intention to bid for the contest and that it may end up, as many had hoped, on the big Sky Sports bill in Belfast on October 21st should Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn be agreeable.

‘The Mac Attack’ McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] has not fought since last November, when he lost a British title final eliminator to Askin, who would subsequently stop Craig Kennedy to win the belt. Askin defends his title against Scotland’s Stephen Simmons on October 6th.

Watkins [11(7)-0] claimed the Irish title in June at the SSE Odyssey Arena, stopping former champ Ian Tims in the fourth round. He will be unable to defend this belt against McCarthy due to new Boxing Union of Ireland rules which prohibit the Belfast man from fighting for the belt as he does not hold an Irish boxing licence.

The match-up has been designated as an ‘eliminator’ rather than a ‘final eliminator.’ However, with champion Askin starting out with a voluntary defence it is possible that the winner of the Watkins-McCarthy bout could be elevated to mandatory challenger to face the winner of Askin-Simmons.

Paddy Fitzpatrick, manager and trainer of Watkins, had yesterday stated that the fight was ‘dead in the water’ due to difficulty in negotiating with Magee, but there has been an encouraging turnaround in the last twenty four hours.

Magee first responded to these claims stating that he was open to the bout and would work through the official channels, and the fight would then be ordered in the circular released just hours later.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie