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Sign me ‘Don’ Eddie – Laggoune wants to impress his way on ‘King’ Hearn’s books by defeating McCarthy

Bilal Laggoune [25(14)-1(0)-2] is out to impress the new Don King, Eddie Hearn by defeating Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] later this month.

The Belgian and the Belfast fighter battle it out for the European cruiserweight title on the undercard of the eagerly anticipated Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora heavyweight clash on October 31.

The former EBU title challenger and EU titlist has no qualms about travelling and seems to be happy with a wider platform to impress.

The 27-year-old Aalst, Oost-Vlaanderen native believes the stage provided by Saturday weeks Continental clash will allow him to become an internationally known fighter.

Laggoune also see’s the benefit in impressing Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, a promoter he compares to Don King.

“I am aware that this is an opportunity to shine on the international scene,” said the Belgian. “Eddie Hearn, the promoter, is a bit of a Don King of 2020, so it’s up to me to show myself in my best light.”

Laggoune also revealed he was close to an IBF world title shot, only for injuries to slow his down his march to the bigger title. A tempting offer from Hearn then prompting him to postpone any world title push.

Which in itself cements further the idea victory over the former Belgian champions should propel McCarthy toward the top tier.

“I was moving towards the IBF but injuries spoiled two of the fights I had planned for recent months. Suddenly, [I got this offer] and I did not hesitate. It is a bit short notice but we will do everything to bring back the belt.”

Laggoune drew with Dmytro Kucher the last time he challenged for the strap, with the Ukranian going on to defeat Welsh fighter Enzo Maccarinell to claim the famous blue strap in his next fight.

He claims McCarthy has an annoying style, but one he feels has exploitable flaws.

“He’s not a bad boxer, but I don’t feel inferior to him. He’s tall, he has a style that can be annoying and he finds his distance well but he also has some flaws that I want to exploit. ‘I have the weapons to thwart his plans.”

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