Tommy McCarthy Eyeing World Scene, Belfast Homecoming

The career of European cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy got another boost following his latest win at the weekend.

Not only did the 30-year-old successfully defend his title for the first time on Saturday night against Alexandru Jur but soon after it was announced that he would face Chris Billam-Smith in a cruiserweight grudge match this summer. The good news rolled on when it was revealed yesterday that the Belfast boxer had signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.

“It’s the dream for every boxer,” said McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) in a press release.

“Matchroom is the leading promotional outfit in world boxing so to finally be an official member of the team is brilliant for my career. Chris Billam-Smith is the last hurdle I have to jump over to get a shot at my ultimate goal which is to become a World champion. I’ve got no problem fighting him – he’s easy work.”

McCarthy has eyes on the world scene should he pass the stern test that Billam-Smith will provide at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, outside Matchroom Boxing headquarters, in July. McCarthy is ranked at number five with the IBF and WBA while he sits just outside the top quintet at six in the WBC rankings. Names like Arsen Goulamirian (WBA champion), Ilunga Makabu (WBC) and Mairis Briedis (IBF) are on the horizon for ‘Mac Attack’.

“After I beat Billam-Smith I would like to fight for a version of the cruiserweight world title – one of the four major titles,” said McCarthy.

“I’m ranked top ten in the WBC, IBF and WBA, and the WBO Champion Lawrence Okolie is signed with Matchroom. The Okolie fight will obviously be the easiest one to make now that we’re both signed to Matchroom, but I’d like to fight for any of them – I’m not fussed which one. 
“Getting Matchroom back over to Belfast would mean the world to me. Going into my last fight, all of the boxing fans in Belfast were putting their hopes on me to bring big time boxing back to the city. Now that I’m with Matchroom, I’ve got the right team around me to bring the big nights back.”