Current undefeated pro, and former Irish amateur heavyweight champion Tommy McCarthy is considering an offer to try and qualify for the Olympic Games.
It’s understood the cruiserweight, who is on the verge of a British title shot, has been sounded out re trying to represent Ireland at Rio 2016.
The members of the AIBA last week voted in favour of granting professional fighters eligibility for the Olympics, and since the news a number of fighters have stated that it’s something that would appeal.
However, McCarthy seems to be the first contacted regarding benefiting from, and availing of, the new rule.
Current Irish heavyweight champion and London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill has one last chance to qualify for Rio, but if he fails to secure a place on the plane in the final Olympic qualifier in Azerbaijan next week, McCarthy would consider the invite to compete in an Olympic qualifying event in Venezuela in July where pro boxers are allowed compete.
While the offer is tempting there are pitfalls for ‘The Mac Attack’. He would have to give up his British Boxing Board of Control licence and as a result would put in jeopardy a potential British title shot.
Speaking to the Irish News McCarty said,
“I am giving it consideration, I don’t have to give a definite answer straight away and Darren still might qualify anyway.”
“I’m more leaning towards giving it a miss because I feel my professional career is just starting to take off, especially after last week. My profile went through the roof and I’m in a great position. If I went to the Olympic qualifiers, no doubt I’d qualify, but going to the Games would be different.
“I haven’t boxed as an amateur for over two years and the rest of the fighters have gone to the top tournaments every couple of months. I’m a professional boxer now, I’m a distance fighter, I’m boxing longer rounds in training, so it might be too soon for me to adjust back to being an amateur. All the top amateurs, in my opinion, would beat the top pros over three rounds.”