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Tommy McCarthy credits Paddy Barnes for helping prevent rash retirement decision

Tommy McCarthy claims some therapy in the form of slagging from Paddy Barnes ensured he didn’t announce a premature retirement.

So upset was ‘The Mac Attack’ following defeat to Richard Riakporhe that he was genuinely considering retirement.

Indeed, the popular cruiserweight admits his gloves were hung up and taken down from the hook on five occasions during the period of hurt in the aftermath to the knockout defeat.

“It was tough after losing to Riakporhe,” McCarthy told Belfast Live Sport.

“I think I announced my retirement about five times, and then half an hour later I changed my mind. My wife, family and friends talked sense into me and told me to stay calm and not rush into anything stupid.”

“I was bitterly disappointed after the fight. I left the ring without doing any interviews. That was probably a good thing as dear knows what I would have said.”

Emotive retirement was something both Paddy Barnes and even Carl Frampton did after their most recent defeats.

‘The Jackal’, in his head, called it a day after his reverse to Josh Warrington, while Barnes announced in the ring he would likely retire after he lost on in New York to Oscar Mojica on St Patrick’s Day.

Both changed their minds after having time to reflect and, having consulted with Barnes, McCarthy revealed he saw some logic, which was possibly masked in banter, in his former amateur team mate’s advice.

“I have spoken to Paddy Barnes about it. He lost on St Patrick’s Day in New York and was interviewed in the ring straight after the fight. He said he would probably retire, but thankfully he is fighting on.”

“Emotion gets the better of you in those situations.

“Paddy is a close friend and we did speak about it. We usually slag each other off on social media and have a bit of craic. A bit of verbal sparring. I suppose it is like a therapy session!”

The 28-year-old now returns on the Summer Brawl show set for the Europa Hotel tomorrow and is keen just to put the Riakporhe reverse in his rear view mirror. 

“I didn’t want people asking me about my last fight and having to say ‘I lost’. I want to get a win under my belt and get back on track,” he adds.

“I know where I went wrong in that last fight. Things were going well, but I switched off for a split second and got caught and couldn’t recover.

“It was a bit of naivety on my part, which made it frustrating. Riakporhe can punch, but I was fighting the right fight until I got caught on the temple and my legs went.”

“I can’t wait to get back out there and put on a show for the Belfast boxing fans. I didn’t want to sit about for six months and dwell on that loss.”

“I want to get back out there and winning again. And that’s what I aim to do.”


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com