Big Tommy McCarthy seeing big improvements ahead of Féile headline bout

Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy will be the headline attraction at the Féile an Phobail on Saturday. The unbeaten Belfast man faces the stiff test of Courtney Fry in what is only his sixth professional fight.

The Belfast man, however, feels like he is adapting and improving in the paid game – and is more than ready for the challenge of the 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph ahead of the West Belfast show, McCarthy revealed that “I feel, overall, that I am developing well as a pro and I’ve always believed that it suited me more than the amateurs.”

On the difference between the two codes, the 24 year old believes that “In the amateurs, you have to put everything into those three rounds ,and it’s the one who throws the most punches tends to get the decision, it’s quantity over quality, but in the professional game it’s the other way around.”

The big-punching Oliver Plunkett boxer also noted the improvements that he is continually making as a pro, noting that “I’m learning to control the ring more, to have that ring generalship that you need as a pro because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

On his preparations for the tough eight-round fight, McCarthy explains that “I had great sparring with Matty Askins who has fought for the British title and also with Paul Drago and Jack Massey who are two unbeaten cruiserweight prospects.”

“There was no holding back with Drago and Massey – I think because the three of us knew that down the line we’ll probably end up facing each other.”

“What happens in the gym, stays in the gym, but I went away feeling happy with how things went,” McCarthy coyly added.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: