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Tommy McCarthy: We all need to learn to stay in the moment and be grateful for what we have


Tommy McCarthy

Tommy McCarthy

Proud dad: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

Proud dad: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

Tommy McCarthy

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, we speak to Belfast boxer Tommy McCarthy (29) who is WBC international cruiserweight champion.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I just feel very frustrated by the whole thing. The boxing season has been slowed right down and not being able to get to the gym is obviously very tough. I normally train in Dublin but that gym was closed and then after getting one sorted in Belfast, it had to close as well. But it's just a case of getting through this period and doing your bit to make sure the spread of the virus reduces.

Q: How is the virus affecting you?

A: I had a European title fight lined up for probably May and that had to be postponed so, from that point of view, it has hit me a bit. But I know that chance is still going to come, I just have to be patient. It has brought disruption to the house because we have four daughters and they're all at different stages in life - one is a teenager, another is in P5, one is a toddler and we also have a baby. Cara, who is in second school, has handled it quite well because she has a phone and can facetime her friends but it has been much harder on Branna, who's at primary school and has just been cut off from her friends.

Q: How are you keeping yourself fit?​

A: Not being able to go to the gym makes it very hard for me so I've just been doing some squats and press-ups to get a sweat up and try to keep the weight off. I can do some skipping as well but that's it really. My wife and kids have been getting up watch and join in the Joe Wicks PE lesson in the mornings. You need to do some exercise to keep you sane.

Q: How are you keeping your morale up?

A: Well, I've been keeping up to date with all the data from around the world and I believe that with all the medical people pulling together we will get through this in as good a way as possible and I don't believe it will be a long term thing. I've also got to keep in mind that my next fight will be for the European title. My promoter Eddie Hearn will be looking to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. I think some more sunshine would go a long way to helping the mood of everyone.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from now​?

A: I'm not scared about the situation so I don't feel I need to draw strength from anywhere. I'm just looking forward to the time when we all get the all-clear to go back to some sort of normality. As a family we're all doing well - my wife runs the house and we seem to have a good structure.

Q: Sports fans are obviously staying at home too - can you recommend a book, film and box set for them to enjoy during this period?

A: I would say read Mike Tyson, the Undisputed Truth and for a boxset it has to be The Sopranos which is the best boxset ever made. The movie I would recommend would be The Mighty Celt. It's a masterpiece - and that's not because my mate Tyrone McKenna is in it!

Q: What life lessons are you learning from this crisis?​

A: The big life lesson I would say is to stay in the moment. We're all guilty of being too busy and we naturally make plans but we have to realise that they can be ended in a moment. So, we just have to be grateful for all that we have and stay in the moment.

Q: When this is all over, what's the first thing you'll do?​

A: The first thing I'll do is go and buy a Chinese takeaway… I love salt and chilli chicken with barbeque sauce. But it would just be for me because my wife hates Chinese food.

Q: What's your message to fans?

A: My message would be to keep the faith, be thankful for what you have and look out for one another.

Belfast Telegraph