Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that Tommy McCarthy will be given a shot at revenge over European cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith in 2022.
McCarthy lost their British, Commonwealth and European cruiserweight title fight in the summer at Hearn’s Fight Camp series in a tight encounter which left opinion divided on the result. One judge gave it to the Belfast man but the other two officials handed victory to Billam-Smith.
The champion has been ordered to defend against Italian Fabio Turchi, whom McCarthy defeated in October 2019, which kicked off a run to European glory but Hearn is nevertheless determined to give the Belfast man a rematch he has been craving.
“I want to give Tommy the rematch, I feel he deserves another chance because it was a close fight. I thought Billam-Smith just nicked it but it was close,” said Hearn, who didn’t rule out Belfast as a possible venue for the rematch.
“I had hoped to give Tommy a run-out before Christmas in an eight-rounder but we’ll now look at doing that in the New Year and then look at doing the rematch. I’ve spoken to Billam-Smith about it, he’s a good lad and he’s up for it.”
For 31-year-old McCarthy, it was just the news he wanted to hear as he ticks over before turning up his training regime next month.
The loss to Billam-Smith was a tough one to take for McCarthy, who was on the cusp of a possible world title shot, but he believes that chance at ultimate glory will come once he has taken care of what he regards as unfinished business.
“I’m buzzing for the Billam-Smith fight, it’s what I’ve been wanting. To hear that Eddie is ready to make the rematch happen is a nice early Christmas present,” said McCarthy.
“I feel I won the fight but even so I didn’t do myself justice in the fight and I want to put it right and leave it without any doubt next time. I had him hurt in the first round and my game plan went out the window, I just kept swinging looking for the big right hand and let him back into the fight. But when I got back to my boxing he was lost.
“I’ve learned from that… I shouldn’t be losing to Billam-Smith. I know that if I stick to my boxing I’ll beat him, the knockout will come. If I can put it right against Billam-Smith then I can start looking again at pushing for a world title shot.”