After battling Bilal Lagounne over 12 hard rounds at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday, Tommy McCarthy had a difficult fight with his tears.
Upon collecting the European crusierweight title after a points win ‘Big Tommy’ had to battle back the tears.
The significance of the win hit the new ‘King of Europe’ in the moments after the belt was buckled around his waist and he admits to becoming emotional.
“It’s surreal,” said McCarthy.
“I thought I was going to start balling my eyes out. I couldn’t go back home and have everyone slagging me for being a cry baby! I held it together and I’m still holding it together! I’m emotional because this has been a long time coming.
“I’m so happy and proud of myself. I’m proud of my team. I can’t even remember what the scores were to be honest, but as long as they had me winning, that’s all that matters.
“I’ve been knocking on the door for a long time. Now it’s all starting to come into play.”
The fact ‘The Mack Attack’s’ path to Continental success wasn’t overly smooth.
There was inactivity and set backs along the way. Once such set back came against Richard Riakporhe, the British champion stopped the Belfast fighter in March 2019.
McCarthy claims that defeat proved key and was the wake up call he needed at that stage of his career.
“I should probably thank Richard Riakporhe for giving me the kick up the ass that I needed. It’s never happening again (losing). I’m here now. I’m the champion of Europe.”