McCarthy and Ward are eager to move to the next level
Tommy McCarthy wants big, meaningful fights from 2018 onwards as he looks to accelerate his career to the next level.
The Belfast cruiserweight outpointed Blaise Mendouo 60-55 on the 'Frampton Reborn' undercard and hopes that he has fought in the last six-rounder of his career.
"I had a look at him in the first and got to work from the second," said McCarthy. "I would've like to have stopped him but everyone knows what Blaise is all about."
Powerful Mendouo came to fight, as expected, but once McCarthy found his jabbing range he was able to neutralise the Cameroon journeyman's swinging shots. McCarthy wants the winner of this Saturday's Commonwealth title fight between champion Luke Watkins and Mike Stafford.
Big Steven Ward meanwhile, made it six wins out of six in a busy 2017 for the Monkstown light-heavyweight.
Ward used a stiff jab and thudding left hooks to the body for the majority of his 60-55 victory over Pole Przemyslaw Binienda.
Ward's ring activity means he could be in position to fulfil his ambition of contesting a title of some description next year.
Ward hurt Binienda in the third session and again in the fifth when his sizeable following suddenly sensed a stoppage could be on the cards. The visitor held on though, to hear the final bell.
CARL FRAMPTON LIVE: We've got updates from the @SSEBelfastArena as @RealCFrampton, @JamieConlan11 & Paddy Barnes prepare to fight. It has already been a big night of home wins for these four. ⤵ Updates: https://t.co/4egf6uSpSf pic.twitter.com/bEjlcJFtb3— Belfast Telegraph Sport (@BelTel_Sport) November 18, 2017
Also on the card, Marc McCullough bounced from a British featherweight title defeat earlier in the year to starch Josh Baillie in the third round.
McCullough was giving up weight on the night to his Tamworth opponent, but that just meant Baillie fell all the harder when a vicious right hand detonated off his head and sent him heavily to the canvas. Baillie rose but looked extremely shaky, so referee Hugh Russell Jnr waved it off.
"I was as stiff as a board early on, but when I relaxed it went better for me," said McCullough. "I want to build myself back up again to the British or Commonwealth next year."
Another opponent failed to reach any considerable distance against heavy-hitting welterweight Lewis Crocker.
Hungary's Gyula Rozsas tried to avoid the big bombs but a left hook midway through the first round froze the southpaw against the ropes. Crocker tried to jump in and finish it cleanly but the referee swiftly intervened.
"It's been my dream to fight on a bill like this in Belfast since I was a kid, so it was a great experience," said Crocker.