Title routes diverge for cruiserweights Tommy McCarthy and Luke Watkins

The domestic cruiserweight picture looks to becoming clearer following the latest British Boxing Board of Control meeting.

Irish cruiserweight champion Luke Watkins [11(7)-0] had been ordered to face Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy [9(5)-1(0)] in a British title eliminator, however this fight will now no longer happen.

Swindon-Wexford hardman has secured himself a vacant Commonwealth title fight, and will face unbeaten Londoner Robin Dupre [12(1)-0] on the Cyclone Promotions card at the York Hall on Saturday October 7th, live on Channel 5.

As such, ‘The Duke’ has withdrawn from the eliminator bout, theoretically bumping McCarthy up one rung on the ladder

McCarthy returns to action two weeks later on Saturday October 21st at the SSE Odyssey Arena. Here the Lenadoon fighter boxes in a six-rounder on the Burnett v Zhakiyanov undercard. McCarthy’s opponent on the Matchroom card will be confirmed shortly.

The fight will be McCarthy’s first since his British title final eliminator loss to Matty Askin last November.

Askin subsequently defeated Craig Kennedy to win the belt in Cardiff this year and defends the title for the first time against Stephen Simmons on Friday October 6th in Edinburgh.

This fight is a voluntary defence for Askin, and currently there is no mandatory challenger for the title.

In terms of the British title picture, English champion Arfan Iqbal is perhaps the only other name currently in the frame, with no other eliminators having been called recently.

Former Southern Area champion Isaac Chamberlain and reigning champ Wadi Camacho, beaten by Iqbal and Chamberlain, are also possibilities, but much less likely for a final eliminator.

McCarthy has recently signed a management deal with Mack The Knife Global, and has stated his desire for an Askin rematch.

A final eliminator between McCarthy and another name, perhaps Iqbal, could be called at the Board meeting next month – or ‘The Mac Attack’ himself may be deemed the mandatory immediately as the need for a mandatory may supersede the need for a final eliminator to select one.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie