“I am not about points victories here” – McCarthy hails new mentality ahead of DAZN fight

Tommy McCarthy [14(7)-2(1)] has his knockout mindset back.

The former amateur of note had an extremely impressive start to pro life and rushed into British title contention.

Indeed, he was won win away from challenging for the Lonsdale belt just as early as his 11th fight.

However, after defeat to Matty Askin in a final eliminator back in 2016 the fighter’s career became stop start.

There were shifts in management, fights falling through, and ultimately the ‘Mac Attack’ went from one of Irish boxing’s brightest pro prospects to the forgotten man.

That looked to change when after signing with Mark Dunlop the Belfast fighter was handed a clash with Richard Riakporhe live on Sky Sports.

However, things didn’t go McCarthy’s way on the night and he was stopped by the big punching but raw London hope.

The cruiserweight with serious pedigree has now been handed another chance to re-kick-start his career as he fights Fabio Turchi in Italy on July 11th – and he is adamant he is now in the right frame of mind to ensure he does just that.

“My mindset is back to where it’s need to be. From when I started boxing I was not about points victories and I am not about points victories here,” explained McCarthy.

“It’s nothing to do with being away or not being the home fighter I just want to get him out of there. As soon as I get the chance to put him away I am going to go for it.”

It’s not that McCarthy had become gun shy nor had he any major confidence issues, more he feels he had become sparring conditioned.

During his frustrating stints away from the ring, the 28-year-old was kept busy sparring. He was hired as a training partner for some top talent around Europe – and while he won praise for his skills from the likes of Tony Bellew he argues constant sparring effected his mindset and approach.

He points to his fights pre and post Riakporhe  where he fought the same fighter in Jiri Svacina but produced different results to explain.

“If you look at the fighter I fought in the Ulster Hall and then the Europa they were two completely different fights. When I fought him again [at the Europa] it was different. First time I went eight rounds and I just couldn’t go through the gears. I wanted to but there was something blocking me. Last time I fought him I was able to.”

“When your sparring sometimes unconsciously you get into this habit of I hit you now it’s your turn. It that kind of thing. I don’t think anyone realizes it, it’s only that I have been going back trying to analysis what went wrong.”

“If you look at the Riakporhe fight, not to go on about it, I was saying to myself he is tiring I will let him hit me and get more tired. I was kind of like I hit you, you hit me and I paid the price. Now it’s hit him and keep hitting him.”

McCarthy was confident going into that big Riakporhe fight and admits he was fit and healthy, but upon reflections believes it came about too soon.

However, he is happy to have taken the lessons from it and apply them when he appears on DAZN next week.

“The Riakporhe fight came a bit to soon. In hindsight I had such a long lay off and I was still really trying to get back in the grove of boxing. I was in great shape because I had been training, so I felt ‘I am fit, I have the ability’ and I felt it was a good opportunity.

“It was one I couldn’t say no to, but it didn’t work out. I have the experience of that now behind me. It didn’t go well but now I know what not to do. I have another chance here and hopefully it goes my way.”

“I feel better mentally. Physically last time I was well prepared, but this time I am mentally ready too.”

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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 sport for a living for 19 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