McCarthy vs. Laggoune on Usyk vs Chisora DAZN undercard
Tommy McCarthy believes that winning the EBU European Cruiserweight Title against Bilal Laggoune at The SSE Arena, Wembley this Saturday October 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office and on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the US, will put him him in line for a dream World Title shot.
The Belfast man (16-2, 8 KOs) edged past Italy’s Fabio Turchi last October to land the WBC International Cruiserweight Title on away soil and believes his European Title shot against Belgium’s Laggoune has come at the perfect time.
“I’ve been training for a long time and I’ve had a great camp,” said McCarthy. “We’ve had good notice for this fight. I feel like he’s made for me. To win this belt will open even more doors for me. The WBC Title opened doors; this will put me in the rankings with all of the governing bodies. Anyone who has come before me and won the EBU Title has usually gone on to fight for a World Title after. I’m looking at this as a World Title eliminator.
“This will probably be the biggest show of the year. It’s live on pay-per-view and topped by two massive names in Oleksandr Uyk and Derek Chisora. For me the plan is to shine on this show, all eyes will be on me. It will boost my profile and I could become a household name within boxing. It will catapult me to stardom.”
McCarthy’s career took a huge blow in March 2019 when he was stopped in four rounds by Walworth’s big-punching British Cruiserweight Champion Richard Riakporhe at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, but the 29-year-old believes that loss was the making of him as a fighter.
“Even when I was at the bottom, I always knew it would turn good because I have the talent,” said McCarthy. “I had a terrible loss, an embarrassing loss, and I had to pick myself up from being at an all-time low. After I sat down and did some soul-searching, I phoned Mark my manager and I said, ‘look, that’s never happening again, so let’s get a fight as soon as possible’.
“It doesn’t feel surreal or anything because I always had faith that it was going to end up this way. I believe that everything happens for a reason. When I was a kid I wanted to become Ireland’s first black World Champion. My main life-long goal is to become a World Champion. If the history comes with it, it just makes it sweeter.”
McCarthy lands European Title chance
Belfast Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy will contest the vacant European Title against Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune on Saturday 31st October as part of the Usyk vs Chisora undercard, live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN.
McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) edged past Fabio Turchi last October to put himself back into title contention whilst Laggoune (25-1-2, 14 KOs) has won five on the bounce since suffering his sole career defeat in February 2017.
Victory in Trento last time out catapulted ‘Mac Attack’ into the WBC’s top 15 World rankings. Opportunity now knocks to land the European Title after Lawrence Okolie relinquished the belt.
“I can’t wait to fight,” revealed McCarthy. “This is a brilliant opportunity and huge platform on a Sky Sports Box Office show.
“Winning this European Title leads to a World Title shot and that’s what I’m chasing down.”
Mark Dunlop, manager to McCarthy said: “This is a massive night in Tommy’s career. We know it’s going to be a tough fight against Bilal but I have 100% belief that my man will get his hand raised on the night with a nice, new shiny belt over his shoulder and move one step closer to a World Title shot.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “After a great win in Italy this is a huge chance for Tommy to become European Champion. It’s such an exciting time for the domestic Cruiserweight division and victory against the tough Laggoune will give the opportunity for some huge fights on both domestic and World level.”
Press Conference Quotes
Tommy McCarthy – Belfast, Northern Ireland – 16-2, 8 KOs – fighting Bilal Laggoune for the vacant EBU European Cruiserweight Title:
“I never lost the faith. I always believed that I had the ability. There have been dark times but I never gave up on myself. This doesn’t feel like a shock to me. I always knew I was going to be here. It feels right. Everything feels like it is happening at the right time and I’m loving it.
“The Fabio Turchi win did wonders for my confidence. I get confidence from the team that I have around me. I have the best trainer in the world in Peter Taylor. We’ve been working so hard in the gym. Everything that was below par has been fixed.
“Laggoune has weaknesses. He’s looking to go to war? I’m hoping for a first-round knockout. I’ve had to rebuild twice. I don’t fancy doing it again. It’s not going to be an easy fight but I know that I have what it takes to win.”
Bilal Laggoune – Aalst, Belgium – 25-1, 2 KOs – fighting Tommy McCarthy for the vacant EBU European Cruiserweight Title:
“I am very thankful to Matchroom for the opportunity to fight on this bill. Matchroom is the biggest promotion that there is at the moment. This is my time to shine. I have always wanted to show how good I am and I think this is the moment. This is the time. I’m so excited. We’ve done everything we can and I’m happy to be here.
“I don’t think this is going to be easy. I have studied him from A to Z. He is good and he has heart, but I think he has a lot of defaults in his boxing. I am going to war. You will see a war.”
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