Tommy McCarthy believes his “must win” fight with Mike Perez can be ticket to world level

Out of seemingly nowhere, Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] has been presented with both a massive opportunity and a massive risk.

It was confirmed yesterday evening that the popular Lenadoon cruiser will take on recent heavyweight world title contender Mike Perez [21(13)-2(1)-1] on the big Sky Sports card at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday June 10th.

One of the most intriguing Irish fights of recent times, McCarthy will fight for the first time since his British title final eliminator loss to Matt Askin while Cork-Cuban Perez returns from two years out and a transformation into a cruiserweight.

A fight with no big build up, McCarthy admits that it all stems from a Twitter exchange between Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn and Top Rank super bantamweight, and close friend, Mick Conlan.

Discussing how the fight came about, McCarthy told that “it all just happened over Twitter. From Eddie tweeting he had an idea until today.”

Had McCarthy won his fight with Askin in November, he would be challenging Craig Kennedy for the vacant British belt right about now (and is backing Askin to prevail against the Welshman on Friday night). Instead, the big man of Jamaican descent, who started the year off sparring former WBC cruiserweight champ Tony Bellew, believes he has an opportunity to catapult himself right into the world mix.

“A win sees me on the world level,” 26 year old McCarthy states.

“Mike has been operating at the world level his last lot of fights. I’ve never sparred with him but I’ve seen him box a good few times.”

Such is the prestige of Perez, it has been suggested by some that McCarthy has everything to gain and nothing to lose going into the fight – but the Ulsterman doesn’t see it this way.

McCarthy explained that “two losses back-to-back would leave my career in tatters. It’s a must win fight for me.”

The fight will feature on the Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins undercard alongside an Irish title battle at the same weight between Luke Watkins and Ian Tims, as well as appearances from Carl McDonald, Sean Magee, Feargal McCrory, Matt Wilton, Tyrone McCullagh, Paul Hyland Jr, James Tennyson, Padraig McCrory, and Paddy Gallagher.

Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought from the boxers involved or HERE.

frayne carpentry

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: