Former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew has warned Tommy McCarthy [18(9)-2(1)] against switching off when he faces Chris Billam-Smith [12(10)-1] in Fight Camp tomorrow night.
The Liverpool native believes his old sparring partner should have enough to beat ‘The Gentleman’ live on DAZN but he will only achieve that win if he remains focused for the entirety of the fight.
The retired fighter, who used McCarthy in prep for his David Haye wins among other fights, holds a similar view to McCarthy and suggests all the natural ability and ring craft are on the Belfast side of the fight.
However, he notes ‘CBS’ is still a danger, carries one-punch knockout power and could turn the fight on it’s head if the Pete Taylor trained fighter attempts to coast at any stage.
“I keep telling Tommy ‘don’t you dare, don’t you dare switch off because you will never forgive yourself if you lose this fight,” said Bellew.
“Tommy is not known as a renowned puncher.
“Billam-Smith can afford to switch off at times because he has that punch in his locker and Tommy hasn’t. Tommy can’t afford to switch off. If Tommy stays switched on for the 12 rounds I edge towards Tommy but if he switches off and allows himself to get caught by a silly shot, trust me he is going to get hurt.”
‘The Bomber’ also predicts a more disgruntled ‘Big Tommy’ will engage more than usual in the European, British and Commonwealth title fight – and thus believes it has potential to be fight of the night.
“There is a show here to be stolen and I just can’t see past Tommy McCarthy and Chris Billam-Smith. I think that is going to be an absolute cracker.”
Bellew has long since been a McCarthy admirer and advocate. Speaking previously about the cruiserweight Continental king she said:
“I got him over for the first Haye fight. He’s a really good fighter and he has gone under the radar.
“He has all the ability, really good athlete, good hands, can punch a bit too, he can do everything.”