By Jonny Stapleton
Tommy McCarthy is delighted his Olympic dream is still alive and he is determined to take the first step to turning it into reality by winning the heavyweight crown in the up coming Senior Elite National Champions.
The Ulster heavyweight didn’t get the opportunity to try and qualify for London 2012 via the World Championship route after a weight reshuffle saw Kenny Egan defeat him in the box offs.
Now with reigning champ Con Sheehan upgrading to super heavyweight and Egan dropping back down to challenge teenager Joe Ward at light heavy, McCarthy believes he is clear favourite to claim the heavyweight title and progress to the final qualifiers, which take place in Turkey in April.
“I believe I am the favourite there is no one in the weight class as talented as me. I have trained super hard I am extremely confident. The seniors have always been big for me because I have boxed the biggest names in country in Egan and Con at them. I am delighted that my Olympic dream is alive. I have got my chance so I am going to do everything I can to capitalise and take it,” McCarthy told www.irish-boxing.com.
McCarthy’s London second chance comes after Egan failed to qualify for a second successive games in Baku late last year. The Ulster fighter was shocked when Egan entered the box off’s at his weight, but claimed he was confident he could beat Ireland’s most decorated amatuer.
“When Egan entered at my weight I was shocked because I had been training alongside him in the build up to the box offs and he hadn’t said anything about moving up and he wasn’t very heavy. Saying that I wasn’t worried because we had been doing lots of sparring and its always touch n go between us. In the contest I didn’t use my size and strength until it was too late.”
Neither Egan or Con stand in McCarty’s path to London anymore as both planning different paths to the games. However more importantly nor do any of the big European heavyweight names as they have already secured their Olympic spots.
“The top heavyweights in Europe have qualified so I have an excellent chance of qualifying. First of all I have to win the seniors, those are my first qualifier.”