Tommy McCarthy is only 18 years old, but the Cork flyweight feels ready to cause a shock and stake his claim as the number one fighter in Ireland.
The Intermediate champion negotiated a tough semi final at the weekend to reach the decider of the National Elite Senior Championships where he will face none other than Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine.
McCarthy overcame Dubliner Adam Courtney in a tight last four encounter at the National Stadium on Saturday, edging the bout against the come-forward St Mary’s fighter on a split decision.
The Rebel teen spoke to Irish-Boxing.com after the win and admitted that “the first round I was poor, I was slow. Adam boxed well, he was kind of awkward. My coaches said in the corner that it was half and half after the first round and I had to dig deep.”
“So that’s what I did, I dug deep, I wanted it.”
While he won his Intermediate title with Douglas, McCarthy has returned to Mayfield for this tournament and he explained that “I was with Mayfield for eight years, and it was kind of a phase where I left for six months and then I came back to Mayfield, my home town.”
Over the Christmas period, McCarthy was a special guest at the Celtic Warriors Gym in Dublin on the invitation of fellow Corkonian Spike O’Sullivan. An enjoyable experience, the Leeside recalled how “the fitness is on another level. I was doing ten threes on the pads, a half an hour of padwork. No man stops, it was good.”
McCarthy will need some of this fitness on Friday when he enters the biggest fight of his life, taking on European Games silver medalist and reigning champion Brendan Irvine. The Belfast fighter poses a huge challenge to the youngster, but he stressed that Irvine “wont bother me in the slightest, I’ll take that the same way I took the fight just there.”
“He has two hands, two legs, and two ears like myself. He’s not unbeatable.”
“This is a dream come true since when I was small. If you want something you get it.”
“I’m only 18, I’m up-and-coming, I feel great, the best I’ve ever felt.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: