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Magee confident that McCarthy is now on brink of British title shot

By David Kelly

Tommy McCarthy's shot at the British cruiserweight title could well have moved significantly closer.

Reigning champion Ovill McKenzie has been forced to withdraw from his challenge for the IBO title against Marco Huck on Saturday night in Frankfurt on medical grounds.

Derby-based McKenzie had also been pencilled in to defend his Lonsdale belt against Craig Kennedy in Manchester on October 29 but, on the back of this latest development, that is highly unlikely to take place. Indeed, McKenzie has said that he hopes his clash with Huck can be re-scheduled as soon as possible.

Belfast man McCarthy has already won an eliminator for his right to fight for the title and manager Pat Magee is now hopeful that it could take place before the end of October. McCarthy is already pencilled in for a final British title eliminator next month with Matt Askin.

Manager Magee said: "With Ovill McKenzie pulling out of his IBO title fight this weekend, it would seem to make the picture a bit clearer for Tommy.

"I've already spoken to the British Boxing Board of Control about the state of the cruiserweight title and I believe we should know something this week. I can't see McKenzie being able to defend his title so it would seem obvious that Tommy and Craig Kennedy could fight for the vacant title.

"Matty Askin is also in the mix of course and he may want to push for a vacant title shot with Kennedy but I would like to think that the matter can be sorted out very quickly. There's a real chance that Tommy could be fighting for the title before Christmas."

Meanwhile, World amateur bantamweight champion Michael Conlan could be set to make his professional debut at Madison Square Garden, according to his new manager Matthew Macklin.

Macklin is the figurehead for the Marbella-based MGM management company.

Belfast Telegraph


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