Having initially been fast tracked toward British title level since turning over in 2014, the Belfast cruiserweight endured a nightmare two years.
Since losing a British final eliminator versus Matty Askin in November 2016, ‘The Mac Attack’ has fought just twice, two six-rounders in quick succession a year ago, and has been forced to look on as countless big fights took place in the domestic cruiserweight division.
Now linked up with Mark Dunlop, McCarthy is keen to be pushed into such fights having turned down offers from America and Australia. Indeed, the Commonwealth silver medallist is planning for title fights in early in 2019.
The 27-year-old is delighted to return on the Alio Wilton and Boxing Ireland show at the Shorts Sports and Social Club this weekend, admitting any more time out could have wrecked his career.
“I can’t wait to get back in to it. Because if you speak to any fighter to be out of competitive action for a year could ruin you. It has been hard for me to stay motivated, to keep training and to keep the faith,” an honest McCarthy told the Belfast Newsletter.
“In my 12 fights I have fought good opposition and inside my 12 fights I have gone through all the stages of four, six, eight, ten and 12 rounds. I have also fought on television and I have good experience.”
The link-up with Dunlop is seen as crucial for McCarthy who has been impressed by the progression of Paul Hyland Jr and, especially, James Tennyson.
Despite the year out and the emergence of the likes of Isaac Chamberlain, Lawrence Okolie, and even Arfan Iqbal and Craig Glover, McCarthy remains highly ranked and his sparing antics around the world have ensured he is still a talked-about name.
‘Big Tommy’ believes that profile and that ranking mean he could be just two wins away from getting back into domestic contention – starting with a clash versus England’s Kent Kauppinen [0-5(1)] on Saturday.
The Lenadoon big man outlined how “Mark and I have a plan where we will have a couple of fights and then we will get straight back into it. Then we are going full steam ahead.”
“But Mark Dunlop has come in and I decided to go with him because of the job he has done with James Tennyson and Paul Hyland Jnr.”
“I had loads of offers on the table from England, the USA and Australia and they all sounded good on paper but Mark is close at hand and the proof is in the pudding when you see what he has done with his other fighters.”