Saturday 20 July 2019

Assassin Craig is eyeing titles

Waterford fighter back for October event in Tallaght

NEW SIGNING: Waterford super middleweight Craig McCarthy. Pic: The Fighting Irish
NEW SIGNING: Waterford super middleweight Craig McCarthy. Pic: The Fighting Irish

After the controversy that surrounded The Last Man Standing event in March, in which they were co-promoters along with Red Corner Promotions, Brighton-based Assassin Promotions are back in the game with a clean bill of health.

That controversy rumbles on, with the promised prize money not having been paid.

Assassin didn't have much luck in their next joint venture, a co-promotion with Dublin's JB Promotions at the National Stadium which spectacularly collapsed ten days before the show.


Despite these setbacks, Assassin fighters, who include Ray Moylette and Vladimir Belujsky, were still getting high profile bouts in America, England and Mexico.

For their next Irish promotion, Assassin are going it alone.

The National Basketball Arena in Tallaght is the venue confirmed for October 6.

"It's going to be a big show," says Assassin executive Conor Slater. "There'll be a couple of title fights, a couple of returns to the ring and some keep busy fights."

Full details of the event are due to be announced shortly. But one man who's looking forward to fighting on the night is Waterford super middleweight Craig McCarthy who recently joined the Ray Moylette and the McDonagh brothers in the Assassin stable.

"I'm with bone fide champions," he enthuses. "And there's a path there to title for me now that I'm going to take."

His fight in October will mark the Waterford fighter's first year in the pro ranks and he's planning to take his twelve month record to 5-0.

"I've been doing a lot of work on strength and conditioning," he says. "You need to be strong in this game. When you're fighting a fella who's also fit, you need the extra strength to push him back and impose yourself. Survival is the name of the game."

McCarthy was due to fight on the ill-fated JB Promotions show which was cancelled in July.

"Kaz Evans of Assassin rang me and said he'd get me on a show at the York Hall," says Craig. "I was offered a fight against a light heavyweight and although I hadn't much time to put on weight, I jumped at it and got a good win."

With his coach Stephen O'Rourke working on a title fight with Victor Rabei in Dublin that night, Craig had his good friend Steve Collins Jr in his corner.

"I got to know Steve Jr through sparring Luke Keeler," explains Craig. "He's a great guy. We sparred together. He keeps a cool head and remains very calm. I loved fighting at the York Hall. It's a true warrior's den. It was an honour to fight there. It's a historic place."

Craig believes his hard work is paying off. "It's developing into a bright future," he says. "When Kaz delivered the fight at short notice, it gave me the confidence to sign with him."

Known as BTL (Built To Last), McCarthy was amazed by the vocal support he received on the Ring Kings show at the WIT Arena in Waterford in February. He's not alone in thinking a title fight in Waterford next year would be a sell-out.

"He has a huge travelling support," says Assassin's Conor Slater. "They'll bring a carnival atmosphere to the Tallagh Stadium on October 6. We'll be planning some electrifying nights for Craig next year. I'm looking to make some big statements at home and abroad," declares McCarthy.

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