Following a frustrating two years since losing a British title final eliminator to Matty Askin, the Belfast cruiserweight is back in championship contests and will take on WBA Inter-Continental champion Richard Riakporhe on Saturday night at the Peterborough Arena, live on Sky Sports.
McCarthy’s career has kick-started since linking up with manager Mark Dunlop in November just gone and, following two rust-shaking exercises, ‘The Mac Attack’ believes he is back.
WBA #12 Riakporhe [8(7)-0] poses an awkward and powerful test but McCarthy feels he is a level above the Dillian Whyte-managed contender and notes that the outcome of the fight is solely in his hands.
The Lenadoon 28-year-old explained how “I’m not looking past Richard, Richard is undefeated, he’s going to come, and he’s hungry – but it’s all down to me what happens on the night.”
“If I perform to my best then I’m going to win. If I don’t, then it could go tits up, but it won’t.”
Just days away from fighting live on TV in a fight which is being billed as 50-50, McCarthy is relishing the opportunity.
The Tony Dunlop and Ensley Bingham-trained fighter described how “I feel good, I’m happy to be here and I’m feeling very confident.”
“I’ve been waiting the past two years on this opportunity on this stage. My career got off to a very good start but then it was stop-start so I’m finally back where I belong, fighting in championship fights and on TV.”
“I just want to bring my best on fight night.”
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist, World Youth bronze medallist, and amateur World #9 is keen to take his opportunity and progress, with the scene really opening up.
A win would put him on the WBA ladder and, with undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk set to move up in weight, the cruiserweight landscape will be altered massively and he wants to take advantage.
With Olympian Lawrence Okolie being Matchroom’s current leading light, McCarthy holds no fear and has high aspirations.
The Irishman outlined how “this is an opportunity I’m not going to let slip. I’m determined, I’m ready. I’ve been looking World class in the gym, I’m feeling World class, I’m excited.”
“Lawrence has cleaned up domestically when, a few years ago, he wasn’t even a pro and I was leading the pack of the cruiserweights. This fight against Richard, a win here puts me back in contention for a big fight with Lawrence and beyond. ”
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 28, 2019