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IT’S OFFICIAL – Tommy McCarthy to fight for European title on massive Usyk v Chisora card

Belfast cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] will contest the vacant European Title against Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune [25(14)-1(0)-2] on Saturday 31st October as part of the Usyk vs Chisora undercard, live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN.

Following defeat to Richard Riakporhe, McCarthy defeated Fabio Turchi last October to put himself back into title contention whilst Laggoune has won five on the bounce since suffering his sole career defeat in February 2017.

Victory in Trento last time out catapulted ‘Mac Attack’ into the WBC’s top 15 World rankings. Opportunity now knocks to land the European Title after Lawrence Okolie relinquished the belt.

Considering he was mandatory for the strap since January of this year, ‘Big Tommy’ has had to be patient with regard securing his shot.

The EBU confirmed the Belgian as his opponent late summertime and Eddie Hearn last month suggested it’s a fight he’d put on, on the PPV card, but official conformation only came this afternoon.

Now it’s here he is determined to grab it with both gloved hands and use it as a stepping stone toward a world title shot.

“I can’t wait to fight,” revealed McCarthy. “This is a brilliant opportunity and huge platform on a Sky Sports Box Office show.”

“Winning this European Title leads to a World Title shot and that’s what I’m chasing down.”

McCarthy vs Laggoune joins Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr on the undercard to Usyk vs Chisora with further announcements due shortly.

It will be interesting to see if James Tennyson gets on the card. Like McCarthy, the Matchroom fighter is Mark Dunlop-managed and has been linked to a European title shot.

No doubt Matchroom would like to make a world title fight between Selby, if he manages to win one and the British lightweight champion.

Having both on the same card would help in building toward that fight. Also there has been talk of ‘Tenny’ and McCarthy bringing boxing back to Belfast. Having both on the same show late this month might also help in that regard, although it has to be said there has been no sign of Tennyson being in camp.

Eric Donovan has also benefited from Dunlop’s relationship with Sky and has been promised a return by Eddie Hearn, but previously told Irish-boxing.com he expects that to happen in 2021.

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