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Team McCarthy respond to claims that Watkins fight is “dead in the water”

Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] and his team want to fight Irish champion Luke Watkins [11(7)-0].

That’s according to the Belfast cruiserweight’s manager Pat Magee, who has sought to dismiss fears that a fight with Watkins is “dead in the water.”

The fight is viewed by many as a perfect undercard bout for the Ryan Burnett world title unification undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena on October 21st – but Clare’s Paddy Fitzpatrick, manager and trainer of Watkins, revealed yesterday that he was not hopeful of the fight being made, citing difficulties in negotiating with Magee.

The veteran Belfast boxing man though has responded, stressing his desire for the fight but noting that it would need to be done through the proper channels.

Effectively, Magee has outlined that the fight hinges on promoter Eddie Hearn, with the Matchroom boss having not yet spoken to Team McCarthy.

In a statement sent to Irish-Boxing.com, Magee said the following:

I would like the opportunity to make clear our version of events.

I also want to confirm that Tommy is up for the fight and would sell big numbers at the SSE Arena if given the opportunity. I have also requested Eliminator status from the BBBofC.

As far as I’m aware Paddy Fitzpatrick does not hold a matchmaker’s licence or a promoter’s licence. From this standpoint the approaches to me from him were treated accordingly.

I can confirm that some months ago he did suggest Tommy boxing on the same card as Watkins in Swindon but the proposal was for him to pay Tommy’s opponent only.This did not make sense to me and I dismissed the approach.

In the text which he sent me after his solo run approach to Eddie Hearn for Tommy to box Watkins on the Belfast show in October he asked the question what purse Tommy needed. He said this question came from Eddie.I told him this was a most unusual and abnormal way of handling any negotiations and I doubted it would lead to any success in the absence of direct promoter involvement in making the fight.

I texted Eddie Hearn on August 2nd referring to his conversation with Paddy.I asked for confirmation of his interest in making the fight and if I could expect an offer from him. I have had no reply to date.

All in all, Paddy’s efforts are clearly well intentioned but realistically well short of making this fight happen. What’s required is a positive response from Eddie Hearn that he wants to make the fight. We can then do our own negotiations for our respective boxers.

Until this happens, Paddy is simply at the wish list stage I’m afraid. His disappointment at this time is premature, unfounded and unrealistic. He needs to exercise patience and give it some more time.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie