McCarthy aims to polish off Fry ahead of title tilt
Undefeated cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy is preparing to step up in levels tonight when he tackles Courtney Fry over eight rounds.
Headlining at Féile an Phobail under the Falls Park marquee, McCarthy sees a victory over his experienced foe as a gateway to title opportunities.
"That's the plan but I have to get past somebody like Courtney Fry first in order to get to that level," said McCarthy.
"This is a good opponent at the right time in my career. Even though I've only had five fights I have a lot of experience and feel that I'm ahead of my years in boxing terms.
"It's all well and good talking about it but you have to walk the walk as well."
Fry turned pro 13 years ago off the back of a highly successful amateur career that culminated in an appearance at the 2000 Olympic Games.
He now sports a 19-7 record with six knockout wins and recently boxed Roy Jones Jnr.
"He didn't fight the Roy Jones that we all watched and loved but even to share a ring with somebody like that he'll have picked up a few things," agreed McCarthy.
"Fry isn't a handy fight, it's to prove how good I am and I have big respect for him. He's got the amateur pedigree and has been a pro for many years now so I know I need to be on my A game and that's why I've trained so hard and got the best sparring."
The quality of sparring for McCarthy could not have been much tougher. Recent Commonwealth title challenger Matty Askin, unbeaten prospect Jack Massey and Lithuanian tough guy Paul Drago have provided the practice rounds.
Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy and Immaculata man Alfredo Meli have also helped the 24-year-old sharpen his skills.
"The training camp's all gone according to plan and I'm in great shape," he explained.
"There will be a big local crowd who either know me or will have heard of me. Everyone will be expecting a good performance."
If McCarthy gets past Fry, as expected, shrewd manager Pat Magee will be looking to push his man towards a British title shot.
Magee believes the Belfast man's talents can enable him to be fast-tracked to the big league and possibly perk the interest of major television stations.
"Pat knows the game and he's done it all before with Brian (Magee). He took Brian through all the levels right up to world title and hopefully he can guide me the same way," added McCarthy.
On the undercard Alfredo Meli faces Rhys Pagan over eight rounds, while Paul Quinn gets a featherweight six-rounder against Martin Mubiru.
Paddy Gallagher boxes William Warburton, Joe Fitzpatrick takes on Zoltan Horvath and Tyrone McKenna also features.