Belfast cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy is enjoying the early stages of his professional career and insists that he left the amateur code with no regrets, but perhaps a couple of disappointments. Speaking on the day before his third fight (what turned out to be a first-round blitz of Dimitar Spaiyski) McCarthy briefly discussed his days in the unpaid code and laid out his hopes for the future.

“I’m still in the club with Patsy and Bernardo Checa has been working with me as well,” enthused McCarthy who took on board the value of competing in the World Series of Boxing before committing to the pro game.

“It [the WSB] was a good experience for me with no vests and bouts over five rounds. I had two fights and lost both of them but the second one was a complete robbery! I was watching it back again the other night.”

Tommy acquitted himself well with the rigours of the amateur game but despite his successes it was always likely he would eventually turn pro. After signing with savvy veteran Pat Magee the future is bright for the 24-year-old who now looks back on the amateur achievements that got away.

“The Olympics is obviously the big one as anyone from any sort of discipline wants to go to the Olympics,” he admitted. “I was gutted when I didn’t qualify that time. I gave it a good go and I would’ve had more regrets if I hadn’t even tried. It’s more disappointment than regret really. I was disappointed not to take a medal in the Europeans and Worlds last year because the two fights were so close. No regrets just a few disappointments.”

Following his stint in the WSB McCarthy’s head was turned by the allure of the paid circuit and he decided to draw a line on his amateur career and aim for world titles without a head guard and vest.

“I thought about staying amateur and trying to right those wrongs but after you win the medals it doesn’t mean anything the next year. You’re world champion one day and the next day you’re not and there’s only so many medals you can win.

“The glory isn’t there like if you win any kind of title as pro it stands forever. People know if you won a British title, or European or Commonwealth and if you win a world title they paint you on the walls! I’ve always wanted to be a pro anyway from the start of boxing when I began at 11.”

Veteran coach Patsy McAllister is handling Tommy’s training affairs alongside his Oliver Plunkett BC understudy Jimmy McGrath and Panamanian master-strategist Bernardo Checa. Patsy is pleased with what he sees and reckons there is no reason why the talented power-puncher cannot be stepped up sooner rather than later.

“Well, progressing the way he’s progressing we are hoping for a title shot inside the next 14 months. We have to up the opponents and go into six rounders straight away. It’s no good knocking people over in one round. Tommy’s got big experience, he’s boxed world champions and all in the amateurs and just missed out on the Olympics.

“That was one of the reasons he turned pro and now over the next 14 months or so, maybe earlier, we are looking for title shots. It depends on the opposition,” said McAllister.

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Posted in: Blog.
Last Modified: November 29, 2014

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