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Tommy McCarthy aiming for statement stoppage against tough Olympian

Tommy McCarthy [10(6)-1(0)] is back in the swing of things and looking to catapult himself back into title contention on Saturday night.

The Belfast cruiserweight had endured something of a nightmare 2017, but has recently linked up with Irish management outfit Mack The Knife Global and is now approaching his second fight in a month.

McCarthy returned after almost a year out last month with a quick first-round KO against the overmatched Peter Hegyes, and is straight back in on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ card at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday night. This time round ‘The Mack Attack’ has a real test against a game banana skin of an opponent.

McCarthy will box Cameroonian Blaise Mendouo [4(1)-7(1)] over six rounds on the big BT Sport card and will need to be switched on to get past the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.

It’s all quickly coming together for the Lenadoon fighter who, not too long ago, was considering retirement, looking up jobs, and even having one shift as a pizza delivery driver.

Delighted to be back, McCarthy told Irish-Boxing.com that “it feels great, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing like it, you can’t substitute it.”

“We just kept it going because the last fight was only one round, it didn’t take anything out of me and I didn’t need any rest or recovery.”

“I just kept going, I took a couple of days off then headed back to England and kept working there with Ensley. I had some good sparring with Nick Stafford, he’s fighting Luke Watkins for the Commonwealth title and I was getting a lot of rounds in with him.”

The Manchester-based African has given real scares to Simon Vallily and Sam Hyde, is the only fighter to bring Lawrence Okolie the distance, and whose only stoppage defeat came against heavyweight wonderkid Daniel Dubois. Mendouo has Irish previous too, having extended big-punching Dublin heavyweight Sean Turner the full six rounds back in September.

McCarthy has done his homework on the London Olympian, who defected following the 2012 Games, and admits that “he’s not bad, he has a good amateur background. I would like to stop him because no cruiserweights have stopped him, the only person to stop him was Daniel Dubois and he’s a beast.”

The 27 year old stressed that “I never go in looking for knockouts – I always just seem to find them! I believe, if I find the target, on anyone, it’s going to be nightmares for them.”

“My gameplan is always, and I think it’s an old High Performance thing, to perform to the best of my ability. My gameplan is always just to perform.”

“I’m looking to put on a good exhibition of boxing, just box smart. Be patient, box to my ability, and it should be alright.”

Mendouo is too dangerous an opponent to overlook, however he will hopefully provide something of a gateway for McCarthy who notes how “obviously it’s all up to the team, but that’s what would be ideal for me – win this fight then next year get into the title mix, the championship mix.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie