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Eddie Hearn wants to make Tommy McCarthy v CBS European title fight

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is keen to keep the European title in house.

Lawrence Okolie has vacated the blue belt and Hearn wants two more Matchroom boxers to contest the vacant title.

Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] is the mandatory challenger for the strap and Hearn wants him to face stablemate Chris Billam-Smith [11(10)-1(0)] for continental supremacy.

Bournemouth’s Billam-Smith was in action on Friday night as part of Matchroom Fight Camp where he stopped Welshman Nathan Thorley in the second round.

Following ‘The Gentleman’s’ explosive win, trainer Shane McGuigan stated that “I really want to push him on to European level now. I know the European title is vacant now that Lawrence has vacated it.”

“I think we could try to push Eddie to get Tommy McCarthy against Chris Billam-Smith for the end of the year for a European title shot.”

“I’d love to see Billam-Smith fight Tommy McCarthy now for the European title,” added McGuigan.

Commonwealth champ Billam-Smith, who has been in four notable domestic match-ups already, confirmed that “I will obviously fight anyone, I think I’ve proven that already.”

“If that [McCarthy] fight comes, that’s a brilliant fight for me, I love that fight for a European title – such a prestigious belt.”

McCarthy himself is more than up for the fight and tweeted his approval.

However, a spanner in these plans could be Billam-Smith’s ranking – or lack thereof – with the European Boxing Union.

Hearn is aware of this but remains hopeful that the showdown can take place.

The Essex promoter told Boxing Social that “the problem is that now Lawrence Okolie has vacated the European title, Tommy McCarthy is in. Then it will go down to see who he should Billam-Smith is not the next available ranked fighter. We don’t know whether that fight… it’s just a fight that I think would be a great fight and one that hopefully we can make.”

The most recent EBU updated stated that McCarthy will face “an opponent to be appointed following the ratings order.”

The most recent EBU ratings has veteran Polish former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk [38(39)-4(1)-1] first in line to face McCarthy and Billam-Smith nowhere to be seen – although things could quickly behind the scenes.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie