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Thursday 22 August 2019

McCarthy to deliver

Unbeaten Waterford man on course for title wins

Waterford super middleweight Craig McCarthy
Waterford super middleweight Craig McCarthy

Craig McCarthy won't be fighting at the York Hall on the same bill as Eric Donovan.

But is the Waterford super middleweight disappointed?

Not a chance.

"It just didn't suit," says the unbeaten Stephen O'Rourke-trained fighter.

"My agent says he'll get me on Noel Murphy's title fight show in Cork next month," says McCarthy. "And then the plan is to fight for a BUI Celtic title on Power Promotions' Ring Kings 2 show in Waterford."

Around St Michael's Boxing Club in Inchicore you'll hear people say they could sell tickets for the intense sparring sessions between McCarthy (6-0, 1 KO) and Cillian Reardon (5-0).

"It's unreal," admits the Waterford southpaw. "We kill each other for eight rounds. I'm training flat out."

McCarthy laid down a marker in his last fight, demolishing his opponent in the first round on the Clash of the Titans at the National Stadium.

"A late opponent, he was ten pounds heavier than me," recalls McCarthy. "He was a big dude. On the way in, he was laughing at me, trying to bully me, saying, 'I'm too big for you'."

In fine shape, McCarthy brought his experience to bear. "I caught him with a big left hook to the temple and I could see he wasn't looking at me," he says.

"He was looking for me. I knew he was gone. His hands were up high so I said I'm going to rip into this man's body like I've never hit anyone before. I crippled him. A left hook to his temple and then the body shots finished him off," says McCarthy. "Good night."

As he waits for confirmation that he'll be fighting on the Leeside Revolution on July 22, McCarthy seems chilled.

He's so composed. I enquire if he has had sessions with a sport psychologist.

"In the past, I've got caught up in ego," he says. "Fighters need to learn to separate from that. I think I have that. I learned things the hard way."

McCarthy is the first fighter I've met who's benefited from the rigorous programme of shamanic self-healing and transformation that is Ayahuasca therapy.

"I've done a couple of retreats," reveals McCarthy. "I did some soul-searching. It changed absolutely everything for me. I was in hell. It's very deep. It's like a science going through your body."

Now it's the "sweet science" that the rejuvenated McCarthy is concentrating on.

"I'm constantly learning new things with coach Stephen O'Rourke," he says. "The man doesn't get enough credit. My power is improving so much, it's unbelievable."

"Once the mind is right, the body will follow," adds McCarthy. "I'm ready to fight."

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