Tommy McCarthy [20(10)-4(2)] will bid to become a two-time European champion early next month.
‘The Mack Attack’ will travel into the lion’s den where he will challenge reigning champion Michal Cieslak [24(18)-2(0)] for his old belt.
The Belfast cruiserweight has been mandatory for the famous blue strap for some months now and was in ordered talks with the champion.
A deal wasn’t reached, so the European Boxing Union called for purse bids, which were won by Cieslak’s team, meaning the fight will play out on their show in Poland.
The Pole is one of the stronger European champions in recent years. The 34-year-old has twice challenged for world titles, losing on points to both Lawerence Okolie and Ilunga Makabu. He won the European title by defeating Dylan Bregeon within four rounds in April and makes his first defence against McCarthy.
Cieslak has also been strongly linked to Chris Billiam Smith, McCarthy’s former foe and current WBO cruiserweight world champion, which suggests ‘Big Tommy’ could put himself back in the world title frame with a win.
The Lenadoon man became the first black Irish European champion in November of 2020, claiming the title on a behind-closed-doors Matchroom card.
McCarthy outpointed Bilal Laggoune over 12 to take the cruiserweight version of the blue strap.
When opportunity comes knocking, you gotta let her in!! 🥊 🎲 ☘️ pic.twitter.com/MEsyxY34aJ— Tommy McCarthy (@Tommymac90) October 3, 2023
That victory made the 32-year-old Ireland’s 15th European champion. If he defeats Cieslak he will become only the second two-time European champion after Matthew Macklin.
The Belfast cruiserweight had signed a contract to fight Arsen Goulamirian [27(18)-0] for the WBA world title in Marseille, France, and was due to challenge for the strap on September 10, only for the fight to fall through.