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Italian Job II – Craig O’Brien Plans to Emulate Tommy McCarthy and Impress his Way onto Matchroom’s Books

Craig O’Brien [12(1)-2(1)] is ready to do a Tommy McCarthy-style Italian job and come away from Milan with newfound boxing riches.

‘The Iron’ takes on Samuel Nmomah [15(4)-0]  live on a Matchroom promoted DAZN broadcast card on Friday night and is confident of recording what he believes will be a career-changing victory.

The Irish light-middleweight champion has his sights set on a Matchroom contract and cites ‘The Mack Attack’s’ success as proof he can get it.

‘Big Tommy’ took a risk fighting Fabio Turchi in Italy in October of 2019, recorded a victory, and set in motion a run that eventually saw him become a European champion and a Matchroom fighter.

“Look at Tommy McCarthy,” starts O’Brien when speaking to Irish-boxing.com. “He went out to Italy and he won, since then he’s catapulted, he fought on Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, has won titles and got a contract, so a win in this fight is massive for me,” he adds before saying he is hoping to impress his way onto Matchroom’s books. 

“That would be the plan, as I said look at Tommy and what happened when he got the win there. Tommy got that contact, got a European title fight and then he got Chris Billam Smith fight. It’s not just him, I’ve seen your man Reece Bellotti, he went over there last year he got a win and your man Morrissey- and off the back of that he got [Chris] Eubank. So a win out here for me is massive!”

Discussing how the fight came about ‘The Iron’ revealed he was initially being lined up for a different opponent.

“Pascal rang me and said ‘Craig we got a fight for ye – this guy is Italian have a look at him’. We accepted it then something happened that guy and they brought this other fella in. It’s a great opportunity especially with nothing much happening.”

Nmomah is unbeaten but it remains to be seen how much of a talent he is. He doesn’t carry a big knockout threat and has yet to fight anyone of note, so someone with the natural skill set of O’Brien would be confident – and he is.

“The guy I’m fighting is pretty good, he has a good record, but there are no great names on his resume, so we are going out there to win. The Italians are good fighters they are technically strong so it’s gonna be tough so I’ve put everything into this camp.  

“They’re saying he’s 6 foot but looking on camera I don’t know. He’s a big guy, he comes forward with a stiff jab, one-two, he’s not very flexible. He’s just stiff and strong. 

“He’s a tough opponent, but I’m also a tough opponent for him. It’s a 50/50 fight, so I’m doing everything I can to get the win, and hopefully, on the night I perform.”


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 sports for a living for over 20 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