Belfast boxer Tommy McCarthy stepping up bid for title shot
Tommy McCarthy is aiming for a fourth professional victory when he boxes in Dublin's 3Arena on Saturday night.
The Belfast cruiserweight faces Martin Horak of the Czech Republic over four rounds and is eager to impress.
McCarthy has been busy preparing with a week sparring Nathan Cleverly as the Welshman limbers up for his grudge rematch against Tony Bellew. The 24-year-old gained good experience in that camp and is now focusing on his weekend assignment.
"Horak is durable and tough and it would be good to get him out of there but I'm looking for a solid win," said McCarthy.
"Boxing in Dublin gives me the chance to impress a wider audience and hopefully get on some more Matchroom shows.
"After my first bout I was aiming for a six rounder but the opponents have only wanted four."
When Michael Sweeney withdrew from his rematch with Ian Tims, McCarthy's team immediately tried to step in and box the Dubliner but Tims and his trainer decided they would prefer to wait for Sweeney to recover.
"I have no personal beef with these guys but it would've been nice to fight Tims," he added.
"He's from Dublin and would've had a big crowd supporting him in a bigger fight for me. I don't mind who I fight, it's up to my management."
If McCarthy removes Horak, as expected, manager Pat Magee has a date pencilled in at the Ulster Hall on January 24 with a British opponent being targetted.
"Boxing in Belfast would be great as everyone can come down and see me fight. I boxed in the Devenish last time but that was more of a last minute thing and still I got good support," added McCarthy.
Pat Magee views Horak as a step up from McCarthy's previous three opponents.
"This guy is durable and we cannot underestimate him," he commented.
"Matchroom used their contacts to find an opponent but a plethora of names refused," the manager explained.
"Tommy needs a challenge and expects to be moved quickly so we plan on accelerating his progress," he said.
"It's difficult to get someone to face him over six rounds. We believe he can move into championship class after nine or 10 fights," he added.
In the Matchroom main event Matthew Macklin boxes Argentina's Jorge Sebastian Heiland in a WBC world title eliminator at middleweight.
The 32-year-old is aiming for a fourth world title shot following three previous failed attempts.