Tommy McCarthy is delighted to be back in regular action, but the Belfast cruiserweight is aiming for another early night on Saturday at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
Former Irish Elite amateur champion McCarthy (10-1 as a pro) takes on Manchester-based Cameroonian Blaise Mendouo (4-7) over six rounds on the undercard of the ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight bill in his hometown of Belfast this weekend.
After a nearly a year out of the ring, Saturday’s bout marks McCarthy’s second fight in the space of four weeks following his one-round demolition job on Hungarian Peter Hegyes last month.
While Mendouo has suffered seven career defeats, the visitor has only been stopped once – by hard-hitting Englishman Daniel Dubois – but McCarthy is confident that he can deliver another all-action display.
“Hopefully it’ll be more of the same,” said the 27-year-old. “I think y opponent is a bit more durable, so hopefully there’s a bit more about him. It might take a bit more than one round, but if I can get him out of there in one round, I’ll do it.
“You can expect some good, smart, sensible and clever boxing,” continued McCarthy. “I always want to look good and box brilliantly, so hopefully I can get the knockout.”
Prior to his ring return last month, McCarthy had not fought since November of last year when he suffered his only pro defeat – a points loss to England’s Matty Askin, who subsequently went on to claim the British title.
And the former Irish amateur heavyweight champion is delighted that his brief ‘semi-retirement’ period is now at an end.
“It’s finally over so I’m buzzing like your cousin and looking forward to putting on another good show on Saturday night,” said McCarthy. “It’s great for me to me busy. Boxing’s what I want to do and what I was born to do, so I’ll keep doing it because I can’t complain when I’m getting the fights.”
Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton tops Saturday’s bill, making his ring return against Mexican Horacio Garcia in a 10-round featherweight bout, live on BT Sport and BoxNation, while Jamie Conlan challenges for the IBF super-flyweight title against Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Paddy Barnes also features on the bill, taking on Nicaraguan Eliecer Quezada for the vacant WBO intercontinental flyweight title.
Hard-hitting welterweight prospect Lewis Crocker claims he has embraced his heavy-handed reputation as he aims for a fourth knockout on the bounce on Saturday night in Belfast.
The 20-year-old turned pro last March, having gained a fearsome punching reputation as an amateur and he has duly delivered on that promise by recording three early wins over the past eight months.
The Belfast native will fight in his hometown on the undercard of this weekend’s ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight bill when two-weight world champion Carl Frampton takes on Mexican Horacio Garcia live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
While fights fans and the media have gradually built up Crocker’s wrecking-ball reputation, the welterweight insists he does not feel any pressure to blast his opponents away despite all the talk surrounding his power.
“There was more pressure going into my first fight than what I feel now. I’m just getting confident. I’m dropping people and getting better each fight as well, so that’s just building my confidence. I’d love to get another knockout on Saturday. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to fighting in the SSE Arena,” said Crocker, who features in a four-rounder against Hungarian novice Gyula Rozsas on Saturday night.
Hailed as one of the standout prospects in Irish boxing, the MTK Global-managed talent is happy to be marked out as one to watch.
“It’s great,” he said. “The support from people is inspiring me to be even better, so hopefully I’ll keep going the way I’m going and I’ll build up as much experience as I can over the next couple of years.”
Crocker is trained by up-and-coming coach Ray Ginely, himself a former 6-0 pro prospect who is just three-and-half years older than his protégé.
“It’s brilliant working with him,” said the 20-year-old. “Me and Ray get on great, so we do. We’ve a great relationship and it’s worked so far, so I think we’re going to go on to even bigger things in the future,” continued Crocker, who believes a recent trend of fighters teaming up with their contemporaries in the gym will continue.
“I think it’s far better – there’s a lot of science behind sports in general now and some of the older coaches maybe don’t agree with that, but Ray understands that,” said the Belfast welter. “He understands the need for rest days and stuff like that.
“Ray first took me for strength-and-conditioning training, not for boxing, but it was great working with him and we’re going well.”
Ricky Summers has vowed to take out his frustration on new opponent, Romero Gonzalo. The Tipton light heavyweight was set to face Coventry’s Joe Sherriff for the vacant Midlands Area Light Heavyweight Title next weekend but a late pull out by Sherriff, due to illness, means Summers will now face Spanish opposition at the top of BCB Promotions’ show at the Imperial Banqueting Suite, Bilston, on Saturday, 25th November.
The 30 year-old knows patience is a virtue in boxing after waiting for his chance to battle Frank Buglioni for the British Title last time out. That fight was postponed for a number of months after Buglioni, who went on to claim a points victory, suffered a cut in sparring.
Summers though, frustrated by Sherriff’s late pull out, is ready to put in a career-best performance against Gonzalo next weekend.
“The only word to sum it up is frustration,” he explained. “It’s been a tough year with people pulling out and I’ve had an intense seven-week camp for this one. We’re approaching fight week and I get the call that Joe is ill and can’t fight. It’s annoying to say the least.
“But what can I do? All I can focus on is myself. I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt and I’m enjoying working with my team day in, day out.
“I’ve got an eight rounder at the top of the bill still and it’s against an opponent with a 50/50 record. He’s never fought in England so he’s a bit of an unknown threat. I’m ready to take my frustrations out on him and blow him out the water. I want to make a statement and show everybody what me and my team know; that I’m more than ready to be in the mix for big titles.
“I’ve lost once, to the best light heavyweight in Britain. I fear nobody domestically and I’m ready to take anyone on in the New Year. I wanted the Midlands Title because it’s not been held by any fighter for a long, long time. If Joe wants to get it on early in 2018; I’m here ready and waiting. He needs to be quick though because 2018 is going to my year and those titles are coming my way.”
The show, sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall, also features MTK fighters Jason Welborn and James Beech Junior. Rowley Regis’ Welborn is in action for the first time since his impressive victory over previously unbeaten Marcus Morrision in March whilst Beech will be looking to build on a first stoppage victory, over Russ Midgley, that he recorded last month.
Two debutants complete the card. Wolverhampton cruiserweight, Antony Woolery, and Stoke middleweight, Nathan Heaney, will be looking to kick off their professional careers in style.
Limited tickets are available priced at £35 general admission and £60 (VIP Ringside to include food), and can be purchased by calling the boxers or online here: https://iboxingtickets.com/t/bombs-away-25th-november-2017-walsall
The show was originally scheduled to take place at Walsall Town Hall but, following the tragic death of Reagan Asbury outside the venue last month, was moved to Bilston as a sign of respect to all those affected. A ten bell salute will be rung before the main event as a mark of respect.