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Eddie Hearn – Watkins v McCarthy will “probably” be on Burnett-Zhakiyanov undercard

Eddie Hearn hopes to have Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] on the upcoming Belfast Matchroom bill.

A large chunk of the undercard for the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov show has already been confirmed, but Hearn is keen to squeeze in one more championship fight onto the October 21st bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Belfast’s McCarthy has been granted a British title eliminator with Irish champion Luke Watkins [11(7)-0], and the Matchroom boss wants to put this fight on the card next month.

The Essex promoter told Irish boxing media that “we’re looking at Tommy McCarthy-Luke Watkins, a British eliminator,” and that it will “probably” be on the card

It will be a tight squeeze though, and Hearn noted that “if you look now, we’ve got Tennyson-Trainer, Hyland-Ormond, Coyle-McKenna, and Kelly, so that’s four title fights and you’ve got to allow an hour for every title fight.”

“So that’s seven, eight, nine, ten [PM], running to eleven for the main event. To put another title fight on, you’ve got to be starting at 6:00pm. How many title fights can you put on? And you’ve got to get the kids out, give them a chance.”

‘The Mac Attack’ has history on Sky, having dominated Jon Lewis Dickinson in May 2016 on the Ricky Burns v Michele di Rocco undercard in Scotland. McCarthy then had a fight against Cork-Cuban Mike Perez on the previous Matchroom Belfast card fall through.

Since then, the 26 year old has parted company with long-time manager Pat Magee and joined the expanding Irish stable at Mack The Knife Global.

27 year old Watkins won the Irish belt on the Burnett-Haskins card in the Summer, knocking out former champion Ian Tims in the fourth round. ‘The Duke’ fights on a card in his native Swindon on September 29th, but trainer and manager Paddy Fitzpatrick has confirmed that he will pull Watkins off this bill if the McCarthy fight on October 21st is made.

The eliminator, which must take place by year’s end, is not a final eliminator. Champion Matty Askin defends his belt for the first time on October 6th in Edinburgh against Stephen Simmons.

The Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard features Paul Hyland v Stephen Ormond, Tyrone McKenna v Tommy Coyle, James Tennyson v Darren Traynor, Feargal McCrory, Jay Byrne, and Josh Kelly, with more still to be announced.

Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, £100, £150 (VIP), and are available from the boxers involved or through HERE

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: