Tommy McCarthy [19(10)-4(2)] knows all too well the snakes and ladders element of a boxing career.
The Mack Attack has seen highs and lows across his eight-year career and has experience of what it’s like to have to reboot and rebuild.
Most recently the fighter, who bounced back from heartbreaking defeat to Richard Riakporhe, to eventually become Ireland’s 15th European champ, has slid down one of the longest of snakes – and just when the final tier was one positive dice roll away.
The Belfast cruiserweight went from a European Champion, fighting on Matchroom cards live on the international platform DAZN, to fighting in the Boxing Hall, Tallinn, Estonia in the space of two fights with Chris Billiam Smith.
The 31-year-old admits it’s hard but knows self-pity won’t help and is ready to start climbing again.
McCarthy also suggests this rebuild could prove a little easier this time as the next part plays out in front of the TV cameras.
The Oliver Plunket’s graduate fights live on TG4, in the chief support to Eric Donovan’s EU title fight, his first time on terrestrial tv since his amateur days.
“It’s not great to be honest,” he tells Irish-boxing.com about having to step out of the spotlight. “Since 2019 I’ve been fighting on the big platforms, heading in Itlay, co-main everywhere else. It’s all been Matchroom, Matchroom, Sky, DAZN, and then next thing you are back in Estonia it was like ‘this is wild’.
“It’s good now to get back on TV, that’s where you want to be. It’s TG4, terrestrial television so everyone in the country is going to see it. So it’s good to be back in the mainstream.”
McCarthy is looking to climb the ladder rather than eyeing up the reigning world champions at present because of back-to-back defeats to the Shane McGuigan trained CBS.
He reveals the first wasn’t too hard to take but the second hit him where it hurts.
“The first one wasn’t that bad because I felt like I won the fight and there was a good percentage of people that felt like I won the fight so I came away from it without having the emotions of a loser. Even that night we had a party as if we had won. It was weird, I didn’t get the decision but everything apart from the decision was like I won.
“The second one was a major blow. Not to my own confidence, but like is this going to happen, I’ve had two chances to kick on to the next stage and you are thinking maybe it’s not going to happen. But you can’t feel sorry for yourself, You just have to dust yourself off and go again.”
Ireland’s first-ever black European champion’s fight with capable Latvian Reinis Porozovs [20(13)-18(6)-1] at the Europa Hotel this Saturday night will be his first since parting ways with Pete Taylor and teaming up with Dan Boyle.
He explains the move hasn’t got roots in a fallout, but rather just a desire to change things up and also points out he is enjoying training under the young hungry coach.
“Me and Pete and had a wee meeting after the fight and I told him I needed something new, something fresh because I’d been down there a few years. It’s almost like I was going stale. Pete, I’ve always said and I still say it, is one of the greatest coaches in boxing, he just knows it inside out.
“There is no fallout. I’m training up in Belfast, it’s just handier for me. I’m training with Dan Boyle now, he’s been on the sidelines working in the Kronk and now it’s his turn. He is full of ambition. He wants to train a champion. Everything is going in the right direction and I’m enjoying training.”