Tommy McCarthy cruises to set up a British title shot
Tommy McCarthy effectively secured himself a shot at the British cruiserweight title with a comprehensive points victory over Jon-Lewis Dickinson in Glasgow on Saturday night.
Not only did the 25-year-old Belfast man dominate a vastly more experienced opponent, who has won the Lonsdale belt outright, but he secured victory in a fashion that suggested British and European titles are within his grasp over the next 12 months.
McCarthy's manager Pat Magee had wanted to see the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist make a statement in his first outing in front of the Sky cameras, with promoter Eddie Hearn sitting at ringside - and he duly delivered.
Yes, Dickinson could have been finished off after he was sent tumbling to the canvas from a left hook in the sixth round and the Belfast man can work on tightening up his defence, but the 10 rounds of experience banked in this British title eliminator will be of great value as he progresses along the cruiserweight ladder.
Manager Magee said: "When you consider this was only Tommy's ninth fight, I think it was a very impressive performance. He controlled the fight, showed good composure and showed that he has the punching power to hurt men at the top level.
"I actually thought the fight should have been stopped after Tommy put Dickinson down because Dickinson's manager jumped up onto the canvas and distracted the referee, who gave what seemed like a long count.
"But, in saying that, it was probably better that Tommy got the 10 rounds in at this level because now he knows he can do that. He did take his foot off the gas around the eighth round but admitted that he was a bit cautious about doing 10 rounds for the first time.
"He finished strongly and showed it's not an issue and Dickinson was out on his feet.
"Now he is in line for a shot at the British title and there's no rush. I would like to see him have another two good 10 rounders and one of those could be an international title fight.
"Some international experience would be good, another step up the ladder. Tommy has shown that, as we have always thought, he can be pushed along quickly.
"I'd like to think that by the time we get to him having had around 15 fights, he will be in the World title picture."
Meanwhile, Tony Bellew won the WBC World Cruiserweight title by knocking out Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park, the home of his beloved Everton FC.