Tommy McCarthy teamed up with Pete Taylor for Italy title clash with 'Stone Crusher' Fabio Turchi

Tommy McCarthy takes on unbeaten Italian Fabio Turchi for the WBC International Cruiserweight title in Trento, Italy on Friday night.
Andy Watters

TOMMY McCarthy takes on unbeaten Italian Fabio Turchi for the WBC International Cruiserweight title in Trento, Italy on Friday night.

McCarthy (15-2), now trained by Pete Taylor in Dublin, will start as underdog against the unbeaten ‘Stone Crusher' but he has pedigree and experience on his side and is confident he can hammer out the breakthrough win he craves.

“It's a big, big opportunity for me,” said Lenadoon native McCarthy.

“I'm well prepared, I'm excited for it and I can't wait to get over and grab it.

“I'm going in as underdog because he's the champion, he's undefeated and he's the home fighter but I don't mind – I'm relaxed, I don't feel any pressure, all the pressure is on him.”

The Italian has 13 stoppage wins in his 17 fights and his most notable victory came in November last year when he stopped former Commonwealth champion Tony Conquest in Florence. Apart from that, McCarthy doesn't see anything on Turchi's record that impresses him.

“He's not that kind of fighter who puts on mad pressure – he has a low paced, methodical style,” McCarthy explained.

“He does look to dominate but he hasn't had any real stiff opposition at all and anyone he's hit has more or less just threw themselves to the ground. Conquest was his only real fight and he was doing well up until he got an eye injury.”

He added: “I'm going to have to box on the outside and not let him dictate. I think his style will suit me – he's a quality fighter but I'd rather be boxing somebody who knows what they're doing than a novice when you don't know where the punches are coming from.

“He is well-schooled, he boxes at a low pace, he's upright and has basic shots – one-two-right hook – so it'll be easy for me to judge and get the distance. I've been flying in training and since I started training with Pete I've had great sparring and my fitness is through the roof.

“I know I'll be able to box on the outside for 12 rounds, if it goes 12 because I reckon I could get him out of there.”

McCarthy lost a WBA Inter-Continental title challenge to Richard Riakporhe in March but bounced back by beating Francesco Cataldo in Rome in July. Since then he has linked up with experienced coach Taylor – father of Katie Taylor - and has gelled quickly with the Dublin fight guru.

“I was disappointed back in March,” he admitted.

“That was a great opportunity for me, it didn't go my way but credit to Mark Dunlop, he's a brilliant manager, he backs me 100 per cent and got my in the position for another major fight where I'm topping the bill.

“I've prepared the best I can for the fight and my plan is to over, stay relaxed and use my talent because I've never been fitter and I've got experience now too. This will open all the doors for me.”

PADDY Barnes cannot afford to slip-up against ambitious Welshman Jay Harris at the Ulster Hall on Friday night.

The pair clash for the IBF Inter-Continental Flyweight title and Barnes is well aware that needs a win to bring “big plans” for next year to fruition.

“Jay Harris isn't going to stop me turning those dreams into reality,” said Barnes.

“I know it'll be tough but I also know I need this win. Jay's an out-and-out fighter. That's my game as well but what I can do as well is box. I'm a boxer-fighter where as he's more a straightforward fighter. It's going to be great to watch because we're going to clash head-on. Fans will love it.

“I'm still open to getting to light-flyweight by March. Getting to flyweight was my next target and I've a big fight at this weight so it's even better.

“I got the win at Feile an Phobail and that was great. I'm back to winning ways and that's what was important after back-to-back defeats. I'm 10 times better than that, so I'll push on from there.”

Ulster Hall fight card:

Vacant International Boxing Federation Inter-Continental Flyweight title: Jay Harris (16-0) v Paddy Barnes (6-2)

International Boxing Federation European Super-Featherweight title: Marco McCullough (22-4) v Viorel Simion (22-3)

Super-lightweight: Sean McComb (8-0) v Emiliano Dominguez Rodriguez (23-5)

Lightweight: Terry Flanagan (34-2) v Michael Ansah (17-9-2)

Welterweight: Lewis Crocker (9-0) v Fernando Valencia (8-16)

Lightweight: Gary Cully (8-0) v Rafal Grabowski (4-1-1)

Welterweight: Paddy Donovan (debut) v TBC

Middleweight: Conrad Cummings (16-3-1) v Adam Grabiec (7-27)

Lightweight: Sean Gerard Duffy (2-0) v Eligio Palacios (7-47-5)

Super-lightweight: Pierce O'Leary (debut) v TBC

Super feather Ruairi Dalton (debut) v Jose Aguilar (16-67-5)

JOE Fitzpatrick headlines at the Devenish Complex on Saturday night when he takes on Spaniard Iago Barros for the BUI Celtic Lightweight title.

Fitzpatrick returns after his May comeback win at the same venue against Steven Webb (his first fight since October 2017) which he won with a spectacular early knockout.

‘Fitzy' will intend to build on that win against the well-travelled Barros who won has won twice away from home (once in Switzerland and once in Portugal). Fitzpatrick – a Commonwealth Games silver-medallist – has plenty

Also on the bill on Saturday night is Derry's Sean McGlinchey who returns to the ring a year after losing a barnstormer against Belfast's Padraig McCrory. A stacked undercard also features Conor ‘the Crook' Cooke and former Fitzpatrick opponent Webb who aims to return to winning ways in another Irish derby match against Dubliner Martin Quinn.

Vacant BUI Celtic Lightweight title: Joe Fitzpatrick (9-0) v Iago Barros (5-15-2)

Super-middleweight: Sean McGlinchey (2-1) v Julio Cesar (2-4)

Lightweight: Stephen Webb (1-1) v Martin Quinn (3-1)

Cruiserweight: Conor Cooke (2-0) v Staz Tomasevski (1-0)

Super-welterweight: Owen O'Neill (2-0) v Paul Cummings (2-40)

Super-middleweight: Conor Doherty v TBC

Welterweight: Senan Kelly (debut) v Naheem Chaudhry

Super-featherweight: Kelvin McDonald (2-0) v Stephen McAfee (5-1-1)

Super welterweight: Tony McGlynn (debut) v Nathan Hardy

Super-welterweight: Aaron Gethins (2-0) v TBC

Middleweight: Dominic Donegan (2-0) v Kristaps Zulgis

Super-bantamweight: Sam Carroll (2-0) v Luke Fash

Super-welterweight: James Lynch (debut) v TBC

Super-welterweight: Eddie Treacy (3-0) v Victor Edagha

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