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Carl Frampton backs Tommy McCarthy to turn career around in “do or die” battle

Carl Frampton has backed his Belfast boxing bud, Tommy McCarthy, to do the business this week in Italy.

‘The Jackal’ believes McCarthy has slid into the last chance saloon following a heavy defeat to Richard Riakporhe in his last major fight but feels the Lenadoon cruiser has enough about him to claim an upset win over Fabio Turchi [17(13)-0] and turn his career around.

McCarthy [14(7)-2(1)] challenges for the Italian’s WBC International title at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome on Thursday night, live on DAZN, with his status as a contender of note hanging by a thread.

A pro just over five years now, ‘The Mac Attack’ turned some heads early on but a British title eliminator defeat to Matty Askin followed by a stop-start period and the subsequent loss to Riakporhe has seen excitement dim – and have some suggesting, already, that the 28-year-old is something of a ‘wasted talent’.

Frampton certainly is surprised by the route that McCarthy’s career has taken but is confident that the Commonwealth Games silver medallist has enough talent to turn things around, starting from the away corner this Thursday.

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Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton recalled how “when Tommy turned professional five years ago he had every right to believe that he had the potential to be a world champion and someone who could make a lot of money from the sport because he was very marketable – a guy who could fight with plenty of charisma – but it just hasn’t worked out that way.”

“He has had a couple of defeats to guys he should have beaten and just hasn’t had the smooth path to big fights that most would have expected after he left the amateurs behind.

Tommy hasn’t fulfilled his potential, and a defeat on Thursday night could see him ending his career without having shown the world what he is capable of.”

While it is high stakes, career-wise, Frampton is sure that McCarthy can put things together versus Turchi and noted how “he was a world-class amateur, has serious punching power and good skills. I know the potential he has and I believe he can finally show it when he takes on Italian Fabio Turchi.”

Frampton is preparing for his own fight with Emanuel Dominguez on August 10th in Philadelphia
Frampton is preparing for his own fight with Emanuel Dominguez on August 10th in Philadelphia

Outlining his view on the fight, and echoing McCarthy’s own sentiments, Frampton described how he has “always been a very good relaxed counter-puncher, but in this fight he has to grab this opportunity from the start. he needs to be much more aggressive because this is do or die – it’s the last chance saloon for him to hit the big time.”

READ: McCarthy “I am not about points victories here”

“This is Tommy’s chance to get onto the big stage and make people sit up and take notice of him, so he has to go and show Turchi that he’s in for a hard night.”

“Tommy has the class and the power to make a big impact in Italy and with one big win all the problems he has had so far in his career will be forgotten. A defeat and everything will look very bleak for Tommy, but victory and he is going to be on the road to some big fights.”

“I believe that with the right attitude and genuine belief in his ability, Tommy can bring back the belt to Belfast.”


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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