Euro-vision – McCarthy sees himself winning the EBU title in Belfast

Tommy McCarthy [16(8)-2(1)] would love nothing more than to win the European title in his home town – and believes he may just get the chance.

The EBU this week confirmed Lawrence Okolie finally vacated the blue strap, opening the door for mandatory challenger McCarthy to fight one of his fellow Continental top 15 for the continental crown.

The Belfast crusierweight has been next in line since the turn of the year and was willing to challenge the Olympian for the belt.

However, Londoner Okolie, who is trained by Shane McGuigan, was awaiting news on a world title fight, leaving ‘The Mac Attack’ in continental limbo.

The pathway is now clear and, in further good news, it may lead to the SSE Odyssey Arena.

McCarthy’s continental position aligned with managerial stablemate James Tennyson’s rise to lightweight prominence has Eddie Hearn seriously considering returning to Belfast.

Rumour has it that Matchroom are exploring the idea of a European double header later in the year and bringing the Sky cameras back for the first time since 2017.

The news seems to be familiar music to ‘The Mac Attack’s’ ears.

“It’s looking quite likely,” the Mark Dunlop trained fighter told Irish-boxing.com when asked if Matchroom were looking to promote him and James Tennyson in Belfast.

“I watched an interview with Eddie and he said he wants to come to Belfast with Tennyson topping a bill so it’s seems like it’s gonna happen,” he continues before revealing what it would mean.

“It would be a great to pick up the European title in front of my family and friends.”

It’s a massive turnaround for McCarthy who was considering retiring after his stoppage defeat to Richard Riakporhe.

However he kept the faith and turned his career around with victory over Fabio Turchi in Italy before being rewarded for being the only fighter in the EBU top 10 willing to challenge Okolie.

“It’s a complete 180 degrees turn from where I was after that loss.”

“I worked my balls off and never stopped believing in myself. Mark got me the opportunity and I proved that I belong at the world level. Fabio Turchi is a world class fighter and was a world class amateur. He would beat everyone I’ve fought. I went over to his back yard and took his belt and his 0 and now I’m getting what i deserve.”

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: [email protected]