CORK youngster Thomas McCarthy will make his professional boxing debut later this month in Dublin on one of the biggest cards in recent Irish history.
The Mayfield super bantamweight will box without the amateur vest on for the first time on Saturday, March 30, on the game-changing Assassin Promotions and Boxing Ireland Promotions ‘Clash of the Titans’ card at the National Stadium, Dublin, live on TG4 following a high-profile move that has been in the works for well over a year.
One of the most talented fighters to come out of Cork in recent years, McCarthy claimed five all-Ireland titles as an underage boxer before wowing those in the know when he claimed the 2016 Irish Intermediate crown at just 18 years of age. His step-up to Elite level, though, would not go smoothly.
At the first time of asking, McCarthy reached the Irish Elite final but was beaten by Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine. The youngster still looks back on this gallant performance fondly but the 2018 final leaves a sour taste.
Here the Rebel was defeated on an extremely controversial split-decision by an opponent who, to add insult to injury, would later be stripped of the title.
McCarthy made moves towards the pro game following this and his switch was confirmed at the start of the year when he signed with Boxing Ireland Promotions.
Disillusion was a major factor and he explains how he finally decided to go pro.
“I was going to hold off for the Elites over my family,” McCarthy said. “They wanted me to give it one more year but I wanted to go pro for the last two years. It’s horrible training three times a day, six days a week, then coming up to competitions to get a decision go against me in a final.
"I am 20 years of age and I have already been in two Elite finals, I should have one title. Last year, myself and many others thought the decision was a bad decision but, look, it’s time to focus on the pro game now and start achieving like I did in the amateurs. I’m getting paid to box now, I’m looking at bigger and better things.”
McCarthy leaves the amateurs with a parting shot, but moves forward into the paid ranks full of hope and excitement.
Indeed, the Cork man, who has previously impressed on visits to the Celtic Warriors Gym pro boxing in Dublin, promises to bring excitement and skill to the table — as well as the grit and power needed for the pros.
Trained by Paul Duncliffe, McCarthy is a confident character.
“I’m a very stylish boxer, quick on my feet, and a good counter puncher. I can mix it up also so I have the skill. We’ve changed up my style, everything, I’m boxing well now in a pro style.
"I do enjoy it more, there are things that I’ve changed that I wouldn’t have thought I would’ve changed. I train hard, I work hard, and when you work hard for something, you get the outcome.”
Tickets for the night cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and (€100 VIP) and are available from Ticketmaster.ie or Universe.com.