If you’re a big fan of Irish boxing, you have probably heard whispers that Belfast cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] isn’t the best trainer.
The Lenadoon big man is said by some to hate road work, indulge himself a bit too much during camp, and generally not overexert himself in training. Indeed, so widespread are the rumours, a parody Twitter account – @LazyTommyMcCarthy – was set up, with ‘Tommy,’ for example, telling followers how he spent 5 minutes on the bag and then went back to bed.
All of this is said somewhat in jest, although some believe there is truth behind the talk.
McCarthy however has come out to set the record straight and clarify that the laziness rumours could not be further from the truth – although they do have a basis in fact.
“I don’t know where all these rumours came from – well, actually, I do,” McCarthy told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Back when I was a kid, and I’m talking a proper kid – 14, 15, 16, 17 – I didn’t need to train as hard as anyone else. When you’re an underage boxer you can get by on talent alone.”
“I was better than everyone at my weight and I was bigger than everyone at my weight, so I used to just go in and knock everybody out.”
However, a 9:5 defeat to Olympic silver medalist Kenny Egan in the 2009 Senior final put McCarthy on the straight and narrow.
The Mac Attack explained that “I found out in my first year at the Seniors, when Egan beat me, that I can’t get away with laziness. So, since my first year in the Seniors, I’ve always worked hard.”
“If I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t have had the success that I’ve had. If I wasn’t working hard I wouldn’t be where I am at the minute.”
In terms of why these rumours persist, McCarthy has a few theories.
The Manchester-based pro reasoned how “people love saying ‘Tommy’s lazy, blah, blah, blah.’ I think it’s just because I’m a big, cool guy who doesn’t really get too excited or talk loud.”
“People can say what they want, but it doesn’t annoy me, it’s just a label.”