Tommy McCarthy supremely confident ahead of clash with “limited novice” Richard Riakporhe


Tommy McCarthy [13(6)-1(0)] has dismissed ‘novice’ Richard Riakporhe’s pre-fight talk as ‘nonsense’ and his power as overrated.

The Belfast cruiser takes on the Dillian Whyte-mentored Londoner for his WBA Inter-Continental title in the latest instalment of the JD NXTGEN series this Saturday night in Peterborough.

Riakporhe [8(7)-0] has been hyped by those around him and is seen as a fighter than can have a real impact in a hot domestic cruiserweight scene.

Indeed, the fighter himself has poured fuel on the hype fire ahead of a crunch clash with ‘The Mac Attack’, suggesting he chose the former amateur standout because he is a name that can help progress to the next level.

WBA #12 Riakporhe also told Irish-Boxing.com that he is confident of stopping the MHD fighter.

READ: Riakporhe predicts KO win over Tommy McCarthy

However, the ever laidback McCarthy claims he is anything put worried as he bids to relaunch his career this weekend. 

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist believes he faces “limited” opposition live on Sky and claims people are reading to much into his foe’s punching power.

“I haven’t seen anything I’m worried about,” said McCarthy. “I think he’s limited, he’s like a big novice boxer if you watch him. He has seven knockouts but he hasn’t fought anybody. That last knockout against Sam Hyde wasn’t a knockout because Sam had to be pulled out by his corner because he had a bad injury.”

“In his mind and in the media’s he is this big, devastating puncher – he has seven stoppage wins and I have six and I have fought better opposition than him.”

“There’s not much difference in our punch power, I’m a big puncher myself and everybody knows that. I always have been since the amateurs,” McCarthy continued before outlining his belief ahead of the Peterborough Arena-hosted clash.

“I’m super-confident. He has been doing a lot of talking in the media but I haven’t said much because I don’t really need to say much. Anything he says has been pretty much nonsense. I know what I can do and it’s just a matter of me going over there to perform.”

The Lendaoon counter-puncher is looking to impress in his first live television appearance since 2016, which also came on Sky versus Jon Lewis Dickinson, and the talent believes a win over the well-known Riakporhe would fire him straight in to the World title mix.

McCarthy noted how “it’s a big, big opportunity for me. It’s a fight that I believe I can win. A win here gets me in the top ten in the World with the WBA , it’s really exciting. It’s an opportunity that I’m going to take with both hands.”

“If you get into the top ten that’s make you eligible for a World title shot. The talk is that Oleksandr Usyk is going to move up to heavyweight and vacate his World titles. We’re looking at the possibility of wining this and maybe by the end of the year being in World title contention. It’s all up for grabs, it could be anyone.”

“I’m not looking at anyone in particular but this is a brilliant pathway into getting a World title shot. I’m loving it. I feel like this has been manifesting for the past ten years. I expected this year to be very good to me but this all just happened so fast so it did come rather unexpectedly but I’m prepared for it.”

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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 sport for a living for 19 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