Collective sigh of relief – Tommy McCarthy reveals shared ‘finally’ feeling

Tommy McCarthy’s WBC ranking title victory didn’t just provide the boxer with a massive sense of relief, it also allowed a host of his followers to enjoy a ‘finally’ moment- and he has the texts to prove it.

Having seen two decent break through clashes lost either side of long periods of frustrating inactivity, the 28-year-old register a victory with positive career ramifications live on Sky Sports and DAZN on Friday night.

‘Mack Attack’ out pointed home favourite and previously undefeated banger Fabio Turchi [17(13)-1(0)] in Trento, Italy to kick start his career.

It’s a big win for a fighter who promised so much when he first turned over, but has suffered more frustration than most.

As a result relief rather than joy was the over ridding emotion felt by the MHD cruiser when the WBC International title, McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] proudly showed off throughout Celtic Clash 9 on Saturday night, was buckled around his waist in the Italian ring.

However, that genuine sense of relief, it seems, wasn’t only felt by the languid Lenadoon fighter, as a host of Irish fight fans and the fight fraternity let out a big contented sigh when the result was officially confirmed.

McCarthy reveals there was a common theme to the congratulatory messages he received in person and over the phone, with long suffering followers letting him know they have hurt with him over the years.

“The reaction has been great, but I feel like everyone was copy and pasting the same message – ‘long overdue’. I was getting that message non-stop,” a still jubilant McCarthy told Irish-Boxing.com 24 hours after the win.

“When I won it I just felt so much relief. It was like finally I’ve done it. Maybe not that I have done, but finally I am on the road to where I want to be. I think everyone else must have felt something similar. Maybe they were behind me from the start and expecting more from [my career] then got a bit frustrated when I wasn’t fighting and that. It’s great them ones are happy with yesterday too.”

If there was massive relief then it’s more often than not safe to assume there was big pressure going into what, from the outside, looked like a must-win fight.

Having lost to Matty Askin when he was blazing a trail to a British title shot and then suffering defeat to Richard Riakporhe live on Sky at the start of his return from sabbatical, another reverse could have deemed a massive set back.

In fairness to the Commonwealth silver medallist, he dismissed such claims ahead of the Italian job and doubled down on that post the win.

The ultra relaxed McCarthy claims he never allowed the pressure to build and, with new coach Pete Taylor in the corner, felt super confident.

“I know what I can do and I trusted in Pete, so I didn’t feel pressure. Obviously I know Pete from the amateurs, but we have gelled straight away. Everything he said to me worked. I was just trusting everything about training and that made me confident,” he adds before stressing he brought a ‘living in the moment’ approach to the fight.

“I have been speaking to someone about mental strength and they were talking about staying in the moment, so I wasn’t nervous. I was just staying in the moment the whole time.”

“Pete even said ‘this is the most relaxed dressing room I have been in’. I was just present in the moment the whole time. Then in the fight I wasn’t thinking about my tank because I was present the whole time. Everything just felt right. Obviously it worked”

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: [email protected]