Lonsdale belt holder Jon-Lewis Dickinson stands between Tommy McCarthy and a potential British title shot later this year.
McCarthy takes a step up in class against former British champ Dickinson and manager Pat Magee says the Belfast cruiserweight is “one or two fights away” from a British title challenge of his own.
First he has to beat Dickinson though and Magee expects McCarthy to do that in Glasgow on Saturday night live on Sky Sports at round 8.30pm.
“Dickinson has just turned 30 so he’s not a veteran by any means,” said Magee.
“He is a former British champion who holds a Lonsdale belt and there aren’t that many individuals holding Lonsdale belts. He’s a quality operator and he’s still fresh so I expect that Tommy will have to be better than he was before to beat him.”
McCarthy hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet since turning pro two years ago and meets Dickinson in only his ninth contest in the punch-forpay ranks.
“Tommy is confident because he knows what he’s capable of,” said Magee.
“He feels that the better the opposition, the better he fights and that was his amateur experience. I feel that Dickinson is a step up from Courtney Fry, he probably has more ambition than Fry had and Tommy had a difficult enough time with Fry – he needs to have improved from that night to beat Dickinson and I think he has improved.
“I think it’s vital for Irish boxing that he does win because we’re looking to bring Sky TV to Belfast and Tommy is the man to do it.” Magee warns that McCarthy (8-0) will have to produce more than we have seen up to now to see off Dickinson (17-4) at the SSE Hydro.
“I have a major say in picking the opponents and I deliberately picked Dickinson,” he said.
“I believe Tommy will win but to win he has to be at his best and I think you’ll see him at his best – better than you’ve seen him before.
“The British Boxing Board meet again on the 8th of June and I think at that stage they will be nominating someone to fight Ovil McKenzie for a British title or possibly organising two contenders to fight for a vacant British title.
“Tommy is either one fight away from a British title or two fights away – that’s how close he is and that could all happen this year.”