Days after defending his European cruiserweight title with a sixth-round knockout of Alexandru Jur, Tommy McCarthy has joined forces with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing ahead of a summer clash with countryman Chris Billam-Smith.
The 30-year-old McCarthy (18-2, 9 KO), who’d previously fallen to Matty Askin and Richard Riakporhe, reignited his career with a 2019 upset of Italian prospect Fabio Turchi. He went on to defeat Bilal Laggoune for the aforementioned title ahead of last weekend’s finish of Jur.
“It’s the dream for every boxer,” said McCarthy. “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 the become a World Champion. I’ve got no problem fight him – he’s easy work.
“After I beat Billam-Smith I would like to fight for a version of the Cruiserweight World Title – one of the four major Titles. 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.”
Billam-Smith (12-1, 10 KO) is 3-0 since his own run-in with Riakporhe, notably claiming the Commonwealth belt by stopping Craig Glover and handing Nathan Thorley his first defeat in his inaugural defense. He called McCarthy out earlier this year, and I for one am glad he’s getting his wish.