Tommy McCarthy aiming to deliver in tussle with old hand Courtney Fry
Tommy McCarthy is on a sharp learning curve and he expects to deliver an eye-catching performance at the Falls Park marquee on Saturday night when he tangles with the experienced Courtney Fry.
The unbeaten cruiserweight is having only his sixth fight as a professional after a very good amateur career, but manager Pat Magee has stepped him up in class for this eight-rounder with Fry, a former British and Commonwealth title challenger.
McCarthy has been learning his new trade with some good sparring in recent weeks and believes it has honed him for the kind of display that he believes can help start building a strong fan base.
"In the amateurs you have to put everything into those three rounds and it's the one who throws the most punches tends to get the decision, it's quantity over quality, but in the professional game it's the other way around," said 24-year-old McCarthy, who continues to be coached by mentor and amateur trainer Patsy McAllister.
"I'm learning to control the ring more, to have that ring generalship that you need as a pro because it's a marathon, not a sprint.
"I think with the sparring that I have been having, that is naturally coming into my game. I had great sparring with Matty Askins who has fought for the British title and also with Paul Drago and Jack Massey who are two unbeaten cruiserweight prospects. There was no holding back with Drago and Massey - I think because the three of us knew that down the line we'll probably end up facing each other.
"What happens in the gym, stays in the gym but I went away feeling happy with how things went. I feel overall that I am developing well as a pro and I've always believed that it suited me more than the amateurs."
On Saturday night McCarthy will headline a good, value-for-money card as part of the West Belfast festival with manager Magee hoping a win will lead to another local show led by the Belfast man.
For his part, the 24-year-old is keen to deliver a performance that will have the fans craving more.
McCarthy added: "Courtney Fry is a very good test for me at this stage of my career, not many would take him in their sixth fight but I believe I'm ready.
"He's been at the British level for some time and has fought some good names, so he'll be confident, but I think he'll bring out the best in me.
"I really can't wait to walk into the ring, to enjoy the atmosphere and I think I'll revel in it. And it's great that I am on the same card as some of the lads I've grown up with, like Tyrone McKenna and Paddy Gallagher."
The bill also features unbeaten featherweight Paul Quinn, who has been working with Panamanian coach Bernardo Checa.
Checa said: "Paul has been working very well, he's improving all the time and if he could just have more regular fights he could push towards British title level."