It didn’t look possible in March of this year, but Tommy McCarthy is confident he will achieve the world champion 2020 target he set himself when he first turned over.
After being stopped by Richard Riakporhe live on Sky Sports earlier this year the road back looked long for the popular Belfast fighter, who had already endured a stop-start few years.
However, eight months later and the path to a coveted world title shot is a lot clearer for the ‘Mac Attack’.
McCarthy was this week made mandatory challenger for European title and should challenge for the blue strap in his next fight.
The winning the EBU title would be significantly prestigious and an achievement ‘Big Tommy’ could dine out on. However, the cruiserweight sees it as a stepping stone to bigger things.
“This is a big opportunity for me, because if I win the EBU European title then it will lead to a world title challenge,” McCarthy explained when speaking to Belfast Live.
“Just look at James Tennyson, he won the European belt and then fought Tevin Farmer. So I am very excited.”
“I became a professional boxer to become a world champion, and I always had the year 2020 penciled in as the year I would achieve my dreams,”
“Everything seems to be falling into place.”
Lawrence Okolie is currently the European champion and at the present moment in time, McCarthy is mandatory for the big Matchroom name.
However, the MHD fighter doesn’t foresee a clash with the Shane McGuigan trained puncher, who is rumoured to be close to a WBO world title shot.
“Okolie is expected to vacate the EBU belt and challenge for a world title, so I could end up fighting anyone,” McCarthy added.
“But I don’t care who it is standing in front of me. My career proves I will take on anyone. I fear nobody.”
Regardless of who he is said to face being next inline for such a strap represents a significant turn around for the Pete Taylor trained fighter.
Since the Riakpore defeat he did account for Jiri Svcina and Francesco Cataldo before putting in an impressive display against then unbeaten Italian Fabio Turchi in Trento.
He points out making to where he is now did involve him consulting a strong self belief.
“I was gutted after the Riakporhe defeat, but I always believed in myself and I kept telling my manager and promoter Mark Dunlop to believe in me,” he adds.
“Mark has been brilliant for me. He has got me big fights and things have gone really well since that loss. Now I have this new opportunity and I am over the moon. Mark gets you these chances and it is up to me to take them.