Boxing

Tommy McCarthy not considered for vacant British crusierweight title shot

Tommy McCarthy had hoped to replace Matty Askin in the British title rumble with Craig Kennedy, but he has been overlooked

TOMMY McCarthy’s hopes of getting an unexpected shot at the British cruiserweight title have been dashed.

McCarthy hoped to step in after Matty Askin pulled out of his clash with Craig Kennedy because of injury. But the Belfast fighter wasn’t contacted about replacing Askin – the man who beat him in a title eliminator last year – and 32-year-old Scot Stephen ‘Monster’ Simmonds will fight Kennedy.

The bill, in Cardiff on March 11, is being promoted by Cyclone Promotions and McCarthy’s manager Pat Magee said he was disappointed that his man hadn’t been offered the fight.

“I would have expected that we would at least have had the opportunity of fighting for the vacant title,” said Magee.

“Instead Simmons has been selected. I never got a call.”

Meanwhile, Belfast’s Ciaran McVarnock has set his sights on a British title shot at lightweight. ‘Bunty’ would like to take on the winner of the Ryan Walsh versus Marc McCullough rumble this summer.

“I’m at the level now where I’m just a few fights away from fighting for a title,” he said.

“I’d like to fight for a title this year, I’m hoping so anyway. I’d love it to be a British title – if I was offered a British title shot now I’d jump at the chance.

“Marc McCullough has the British title shot (against Ryan Walsh) and if I was offered to take the winner of that I’d jump on it straight way, you wouldn’t have to ask me to think twice.

“That’s what it’s all about, boxing is all about titles and money so if I got a chance of going for the British title I’d take it. I’ve sparred Marc before and I’d love a chance to fight him but at the same time, would his experience tell on the night? He has a lot more experience and that might show?”

While he wouldn’t turn down the chance to jump up to British title level, Manchester-based McVarnock (6-0-1) knows that, at 24, he has time on his side.

“I’m just going to learn everything I can and I know my time will come,” he said.

“Carl Frampton started off boxing on small-hall shows and now I’m doing the same ad there’s nothing stopping me achieving what Carl has achieved.”

McVarnock, who will appear at the Devenish Complex, Belfast on March 3, recently signed for the ‘Mack the Knife’ (formerly MGM) stable. He added: “MTK have a lot of Irish fighters and they’re going to hold a lot of shows in Belfast.

“That’s exactly what I want because I’ve got people who sponsor me back home and I sell a lot of tickets back home. It’s always great to be able to fight in Belfast so people don’t have to spend so much money to travel to watch me.”

Elsewhere, fellow Belfast lightweight Paul Hyland will feature on Matchroom’s ‘Nextgen’ production at the York Hall in London on St Patrick’s Day.

The format gives young prospects the chance to shine live on Sky Sports and gain valuable experience before moving up to their big promotions.

‘Hylo’ (14-0) is ranked number nine on the Boxrec ratings and is closing in on a British title shot.

“It is a welcome call for Paul,” said manager Mark Dunlop.

“He is a very dedicated and grounded young man who deserves every bit of luck that is coming his way.”

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