Tony Bellew is a massive Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] fan and believes, with the right guidance and that bit of luck, the Belfast cruiser could become a star at his old weight.
‘The Bomber’s’ admiration for the 29-year-old was well known within boxing circles.
The former world champion, who retired after an unsuccessful attempt to dethrone undisputed cruiserweight world champ Oleksandr Usyk in October of 2018, was fond of using the ‘Mac Attack’ as a sparring partner.
Indeed, he was so impressed with the Mark Dunlop-managed fighter, that he used him regularly ahead of big fights, including his first pay per view bout with David Haye.
The Liverpool native went public about his like for the soon to be European title challenger this week.
During an Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew: Talk the Talk Fight Camp Special, Bellew reserved some praise for McCarthy.
The former Irish amateur international wasn’t named as one of the fighters to appear on what looks an exciting series, but that didn’t stop the Sky pundit from praising him.
When asked about the current domestic cruiserweight landscape he said: “Okolie is obviously the clear and outstanding #1, but with the right fights and other people building him… I really rate Tommy McCarthy. I think he is a really good fighter and another one I have had in camps at time. “
“He just needs that break, that bit of luck. I know he got it in Italy and he done really well.”
McCarthy did make the most of his break in Italy, bouncing back from March 2019 defeat to Richard Riakporhe to break Fabio Turchi’s duck egg and win a WBC ranking title.
The 29-year-old’s desire to step up to the plate also secured him mandatory European status – and his next fight will be for the famous blue continental strap, unless a pre-lockdown ‘regular’ world title fight offer is put back on the table.
Bellew believes the EBU strap is one McCarthy should target.
“The European title is a great step for him. The European title is very much over looked by current crop of fighters, which I find disgusting to be totally honest.”