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EBU confirm Tommy McCarthy’s European title opponent

All that’s left now for Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] in terms of his European title shot is the when and the where.

‘The Mack Attack’ has been happy in the knowledge his next fight will be for the famous blue strap since early this year, but has been waiting on specifics to be confirmed.

With Lawrence Okolie officially vacating last month, the Belfast cruiser knew he would fight for the vacant title against an opponent deemed worthy by the European Boxing Union.

There was big talk of a meeting with Shane McGuigan trained Chris Billam-Smith, but the EBU believe Bilal Laggoune [25(14)-1(0)-2] is most worthy of a shot.

They today confirmed the Belgian and McCarthy will fight for title at a venue and date yet to be decided.

The EBU have given both teams time to negotiate a deal, they have until noon September 23 to agree terms or the fight will go to purse bids.

Irish-boxing.com understands that Eddie Hearn has previously promised to to promote ‘Big Tommy’s’ European title fight, so it’s quite possible the fight will be confirmed for one of the soon to be announced Sky Sports shows.

Laggoune, a 27-year-old Belgian, has big Continental previous having held the EU title and challenged for the EBU strap.

The cruiserweight defeated Stjepan Vugdelija to claim the EU belt as far back as 2014 and drew with Dmytro Kucher, the Ukaranian who claimed the title by stopping Enzo Maccarinelli, the year after.

His sole defeat came to French fighter Doudou Ngumbu in 2017 -and the former Belgian champion has rebuilt well since.

Laggoune comes into the European title fight with the Mark Dunlop managed McCarthy on the back of five wins, four which have come inside the distance and has picked up an IBF world ranking along the way.

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 sports for a living for over 20 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com