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Nasty Tommy McCarthy to make return at Europa

It’s time for the return of ‘nasty’ Tommy McCarthy [13(6)-2(1)] warns the talented Belfast cruiserweight.

‘The Mac Attack’ believes his struggles and inactivity in recent years have dented his competitive streak, something he believes has prevented him from kicking on in his career – and something he claims will amend starting at the Europa Hotel on Saturday May 18th.

The Lenadoon big man came out of the blocks firing and registered five stoppage wins in his first five pro fights. The now-28-year-old next hurt and outclassed former British title challenger Courtney Fry and there was talk that he could become British champion before he had passed 10 fights.

Defeat to Matty Askins in a final eliminator back in 2016 stopped that chatter and seemed to slow the prospect’s career down significantly and surprisingly.

‘Big Tommy’ was almost on a year out of the ring before signing with MTK where he fought twice before another year-long ring absence.

Late last year the box puncher signed with Mark Dunlop and secured another breakthrough fight with lauded power puncher  Richard Riakporhe, a bout which he lost live on Sky Sports.

The fighter, who boasts Tony Bellew as one of his biggest fans, admits defeat in that clash was due to his mistakes, but does feel that the lack of regular fights, and his constant work as a high-level sparring partner, had taken that early drive and mean streak from him.

“Due to my inactivity I had lost my competitiveness and now I have to find that nasty streak again that I had at he start of my career,” said McCarthy.

“In the early days if I saw someone was tired or hurt I would look to take them out. I need to get back to that mind set. I have to be rediscover my nasty streak,” he added before suggesting he is in now or never territory.

“Now is the time for me to start doing something. I have wasted loads of time waiting on fights through no fault of my own.

“I must keep everything going now for the next couple of years and I don’t want to box past the age of 35, so I must make things happen.”

A win over Riakporhe would have secured McCarthy another big fight in a healthy British cruiserweight scene, but he was ultimately stopped by the Dillian Whyte-managed prospect following a good start. 

McCarthy says he was to blame for defeat in that outing admitting he switched off against a puncher.

“I was stupid. I thought he was tiring and switched-off and he caught me and that was that. It was my own fault because I was winning the fight until then. But I switched off and although I thought I had blocked his shot, it caught me and my legs went. It will not happen again.”

Positively for McCarthy, he returns as early as next week and won’t have a big delay between fights again. The former amateur standout  and Commonwealth silver medallist fighting on the Summer Brawl card alongside former world title challenger James Tennyson, Cathy McAleer, bill topper Feargal McCrory and Victor Rabei.

It will be a comeback fight of sorts for ‘The Mac Attack’ but, afterwards, he will be keen to get straight back into domestic dust-ups.


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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 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