Tommy McCarthy could Huck himself immediate British title shot

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Tommy McCarthy’s [9(5)-0] path to the British cruiserweight title has been blurred slightly, and a shorter than expected route to the Lonsdale belt may have emerged.

Following purse bids it was agreed last week that champion Ovill McKenzie was to face Welsh fighter Craig Kennedy [15(8)-0] for the belt on a Frank Warren show.

Concurrently, Belfast’s McCarthy and English champion Matty Askin [20(13)-3(1)-1] were to fight in a final eliminator, which Pat Magee had won the purse bids for, with the winner challenging for the Lonsdale belt before the year was out.

However, it has been announced that McKenzie [25(13)-12(3)-1] will now take on former World champ Marco Huck [39(27)-3(2)-1] on September 24th in Frankfurt.

What this means for the British landscape is currently unknown.

McKenzie may be allowed to retain his belt, which he has not defended since March 2015, in which time he was harshly adjudged to have drawn with Victor Emilio Ramirez in Argentina in an IBF World title fight.

However, if the Jamaican-born ‘Upsetter’ is forced to relinquish his belt things could get interesting.

Between the McCarthy and Askin camps an agreement could be made to allow one of the boxers to challenge Kennedy for the vacant title under the agreement that the winner defends immediately against the fighter who had stepped aside.

This scenario occurred early in the year when James Tennyson was due to face Darren Traynor in a British featherweight title final eliminator with the winner facing Ryan Walsh – who was due to defend his belt against Ryan Doyle at around the same time. Doyle however was forced to withdraw from the clash and Walsh needed someone to defend his title against. Tennyson and Traynor’s teams came to an agreement to allow the Scot face Walsh for the belt with Tennyson becoming automatic mandatory challenger.

If such a series of events happen, McCarthy could challenge for the British title this Autumn, or alternatively be guaranteed a fight for the title by the end of the year.

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

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: