Luke Watkins [11(7)-0] made a bit of history on Saturday, becoming the first black man to win an Irish professional title – but there is another Irish fighter of Afro-Caribbean descent that wants to take the strap off him.
The Swindon-Wexford cruiser knocked out Ian Tims in the fourth to win the green belt, and Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] wants to avail of his position as mandatory challenger.
The Lenadoon big man was in attendance at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday to watch the fight, and was encouraged by what he saw in the Irish title fight.
When asked by IFL TV if he was impressed with the performance of Watkins, McCarthy replied: “up until that point [the KO], no. to be honest.”
“I actually thought Tims was winning. I know Tims and Tims is my mate, but truthfully I thought Watkins was going to come out and blast Tims away in a round or two.”
“I was shocked Tims took the contest by the scruff of the neck and was taking it to Watkins, but the shot was perfect, it got him right on the button, and he made a bit of history.”
“He is the first black guy to win the Irish professional title and I like to see black guys doing well.”
“It looks like he has to fight me now. He done the business so we’ll see in September where it goes.”
With Sky’s return to Belfast perhaps coming later than expected, McCarthy might take a fight in the interim.
‘The Mac Attack’ lost last time out, seven months ago, against now-British champion Matty Askin. Seen as a shock at the time, McCarthy feels his standing has risen somewhat since.
Outlining his plans, the Belfast big man said that “I am interested in all fights because I am trying to get my career back on track.”
“I lost my last one against Askins and people were giving me jib, but Askin goes and smashes Craig Kennedy around the place and no one says anything.”
“If you look at my record it’s the least padded in boxing. If you drop my record on the ground it would smash all over the place because there is no padding there.”
“I just need to get a win and get back on course.”
Watch McCarthy’s interview with IFL TV in full below:
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: