Tommy McCarthy – “I wouldn’t be content at all with just domestic titles”

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By Diarmuid Sherry

With a record of nine wins from nine fights, Tommy McCarthy finds himself already near the top of the domestic cruiserweight scene. A successful amateur who won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games; the Belfast man continues his fledgling professional career against English Champion, Matty Askin in Manchester on the 19th November. Diarmuid Sherry spoke with McCarthy about his career so far, and his thoughts on his future.

Part of the Irish amateur boxing golden generation alongside the likes of Mick Conlan, Paddy Barnes, and Jason Quigley, McCarthy’s most notable medal came at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. However, the 25 year old recalled how “I was disappointed with silver at the Games as I thought I was definitely getting gold. I had beaten Johnson at a Multi-Nations tournament before but in the final he rose to the occasion, I didn’t, and he hammered me. He’s nice guy and I’m happy he’s having a great professional career.”

“I won bronze at the u18 World Championships but it took me 2 years to win my first Senior National Title. I lost in quarter final at the Senior European and World Championships both by split decision. I finished my last year as an amateur ranked number 9 in the world. I believe if I had of stayed, then I would have went on to pick up the major medals but I felt that the time was right to go pro.”

Matched progressively since turning over, McCarthy has already faced two very tough opponents in Courtney Fry and Jon-Lewis Dickinson, and he described how “the Fry fight was my biggest learning experience in boxing. I stepped up to 8 rounds with a guy who two fights prior to me had boxed Roy Jones and was a former Olympian himself. That fight helped me improve so much. The Dickinson fight was a great experience. It was great for learning how to execute a game plan and for going 10 rounds for the first time.”

Next for 25 year old McCarthy is his high stakes British title final eliminator with English champion Matty Askin. With a fight with Craig Kennedy for the vacant title on the line, the Irishman travels into hostile territory to meet a more experienced foe. While he admits that “Askin isn’t bad,” McCarthy emphasised how “I’m very confident of beating him.”

“His experience is only at domestic level so it doesn’t worry me because I believe I’m better than domestic level. The fight being in England doesn’t bother me at all. My family and friends are looking forward to the weekend away.”

On his potential next opponent, McCarthy noted how “I think Kennedy is good and he has proved himself as genuine contender. I would say that we are the two best young cruiserweights in the country- but I believe I’m better than him.”

This year McCarthy swapped trainers from old amateur coach Patsy McAllister to former European champion Brian Magee. Explaining the move, the West Belfast puncher pointed out that “Patsy’s heart is in Oliver Plunkett ABC and he didn’t have the time to train me as professional. So Brian took over as head coach and we have a great professional set up.”

McCarthy is a prominent part of the buzzing Belfast scene, and hopes to bring further big nights to he Titanic City, outlining how “I believe I can go all the way. My goal is to become World Champion and I know I can achieve it. I wouldn’t be content at all with just domestic titles. So I’ll keep working hard and a wee bit of good luck I will get to where I want to be.”

“The Belfast scene is red hot at the moment. Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Tyrone McKenna, Anthony Cacace, Paddy Gallagher, myself, and Ryan Burnett all have the talent to become World Champions. Also Tyrone McCullagh from Derry has massive potential too. And then Mick Conlan has the ability to become an all time great. He’s already made history as the first Irish male amateur World Champion so it’s exciting to be part of this new wave.”

“With all this emerging world class talent there’s definitely some massive nights in the very near future.”

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

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years