Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-0] will face recent World title challenger Ovil McKenzie [25(13)-12(3)-1] in just his eleventh fight if needs be, according to his manager Pat Magee.
The Belfast cruiserweight is fast closing in on a British title shot and if he beats Matty Askin in a final eliminator this September his team hope to challenge for the Lonsdale belt before the year is out.
The plan initially didn’t involve the Jamaican-born puncher. ‘The Upsetter’, who has knocked out Enzo Maccarinelli, caused Tony Bellew problems, and defeated a host of domestic level cruisers, was expected to vacate the strap after he dubiously drew in a World title fight with Victor Ramirez and was subsequently offered a European shot.
However, the 36 year old remains British champ after injury forced him out of his EBU title fight with Dmytro Kucher, and he now looks set to defend his title against Welshman Craig Kennedy in September. If he retains the belt, and ‘Big Tommy’ beats Askin, the ‘Mac Attack’ will become his mandatory challenger – and a December date is possible.
Should all go to plan, an end-of-year match-up with McKenzie would be a third British title defence Caribbean slugger and an opportunity for him to win the Londsale strap outright.
Indeed Magee had originally intended for McCarthy to gain some more ten-round experience before making an assault on the British belt, but this plan has been discarded in favour of a 2016 title tilt
McKenzie, should both win their upcoming bouts, would be a massive step up for any fighter with just ten bouts to his name, but McCarthy has stepped up admirably during his early career and Magee isn’t daunted by the prospect of fighting a proven World-level boxer.
“I don’t understand the McKenzie situation. He has turned down a European title shot which to me seems a more valuable than a British title, with all due respect,” Magee explained to Irish-boxing.com.
“McKenzie has to defend against Craig Kennedy and purse bids for that were on the same day as purse bids for Tommy and Askins. We will know more about that soon, but I assume that will play out on a Frank Warren show in September.”
“From our point of view Tommy will fight the final eliminator most likely in September and then will go on and challenge for the British title. Who that will be against we don’t know.”
“If it’s McKenzie so be it, the same goes for Kennedy, or if it’s for the vacant title.”
“We will see.”