Tommy McCarthy enters next month’s European cruiserweight title defence with the added confidence that comes with being a champion ready to prove he is world title ready.
‘The Mac Attack’ became Ireland’s 15th Continental ring king when he defeated Bilal Laggoune at Wembley Arena in October of last year. The Belfast fighter admits his confidence has soared since the victory and is predicting a next level performance when he puts his title on the line against Alexandru Jur [19)7)-4(2)] in Manchester on May 15.
Indeed, ‘Big Tommy,’ who called for a world title shot directly after his EBU win, is predicting the kind of display that will put the four cruiserweight world titleholders on notice.
“Since winning the title my confidence has gone up and that has taken my boxing to a new level,” he told Irish-boxing.com not long after official conformation of his first defence.
“I was disappointed not to get a world title shot but after a great display on May 15th I don’t see why I shouldn’t get a shot at any of the four champions. That’s what I want next!”
The EBU had initially ordered McCarthy to defend against former WBC and IBF world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
Talks were underway with the Pole’s team and a deal all but signed, only for Wlodarczyk to end up in jail for breach of a driving ban.
The 30-year-old now has to face Romanian Jur, a former EU title holder and a potential threat. McCarthy admits his foe doesn’t have the quality or CV of his orginial mandatory challenger but he is expecting a fit and game foe who was able to take Wlodarczyk the distance.
“He’s a solid opponent, I’m expecting him to bring his A-game as he’s had lots of notice for this fight. My original opponent was a two time world champion, so it’s not the same level, however, they boxed each other before and it went 12 rounds.”
The clash plays out on live on the last Matchroom card before the promotional company complete there transition to streaming platform DAZN.
It’s more spotlight on a fighter who has endured troubled times over his career and the kind of spotlight the blue belt brings.
McCarthy reveals since winning the belt there has been a ‘big’ change in his profile and the kind of recognition he recieves.
“It’s raised my profile big time. I have more followers on social, media which I don’t care about, but it shows there’s more interest and everyone stops to talk to me when I’m out and about and asks for pictures.”