Tommy McCarthy didn’t hit the roof upon hearing Johnny Nelson say he’d reached ‘his ceiling’ on Saturday night.
The former cruiserweight world champion questioned as to whether ‘The Mack Attack’ has what it takes to reach world level, just minutes after he became Ireland’s 15th European champion.
The Brendan Ingle product and Sky Pundit wondered about the Belfast fighters style and approach, before predicting McCarthy won’t go beyond European level.
The comments didn’t upset McCarthy or detract from his delight at becoming Continental cruiserweight King.
“You have to take the rough with the smooth and, at the end of the day, everyone can’t be ‘Team Tommy’,” he McCarthy told the Irish News.
“It doesn’t annoy me too much, I don’t have to prove nothing to Johnny Nelson. Who is he?”
The irony of Nelson calling McCarthy out for being casual wasn’t lost on ‘Big Tommy’.
“He’s a good talker, but he was probably the most slated boxer in British boxing history – he was even booed at some of his own fights,” he continued before surmising the former European and world cruiserweight world champ doesn’t like to see others do well at his old weight.
“I think Johnny has this wee thing where he doesn’t want any other cruiserweights to do better than him. The wee lad talks shite. The amount of shite he talks is unbelievable.”
McCarthy did raise some eyebrows by calling out IBF world champion and recent WBSS winner, Maruis Breidis.
The 30-year-old points out he sparred the champion in 2018 and gained confidence from that.
“Do you think I’d be calling him out if it went bad?”
“One of my kids had just been born and I went out there for a week. I hadn’t been training, they told me I wouldn’t do any more than six rounds, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I was thinking I’ll be able to survive for six rounds, but when I got there I was shocked how well I did.
“I know sparring and fighting are different, but I was far bigger than him and took a lot of confidence. He’s the top dog, has been for some time, and I really do want that fight.”