Tommy McCarthy says a victory over Alexandru Jur on Saturday night will set him on the path towards a world title shot, but insists he is not overlooking the Romanian.
McCarthy (17-2, 18 KOs) defends his European Cruiserweight crown against Jur (19-4, 7 KOs) on the undercard of Joshua Buatsi’s WBA International Light Heavyweight title showdown against Daniel Blenda Dos Santos at the AO Arena, Manchester.
The Belfast man is ranked in the top five in two of the four governing bodies and is targeting a shot at one of the world champions, having called out IBF titlist, Mairis Briedis after claiming the strap with a majority decision win over Bilal Laggoune in October.
“I’ve always felt like I was capable of winning a world title, always believed I would win it,” McCarthy said on a media Zoom conference call on Tuesday.
“The last year I feel like I’ve proved that I deserve my shot and I’m ready for it.
“I beat Fabio Turchi who was undefeated. I beat him in his hometown for the WBC International title and then after it I won the European title against Bilal Laggoune, who was number seven in the world at the time.
“So that’s two big wins against world ranked fighters, so I think ive shown that I’m ready to move to the next level.
“Getting the win would have to give me a world title surely. There’s not too many people in boxing defending the European title 10 times.
“Definitely I’ll be looking for a world title next. I’m not even contemplating a loss. It hasn’t even come into my mind.”
McCarthy has won four on the bounce since only a second career defeat to Richard Riakporhe in March 2019, with his other loss coming in unanimous decision to Matty Askin in 2016.
Despite holding world title ambitions, the 28-year-old insists he will not take his eye off the ball, especially in light of previous upsets with his compatriot and stablemate, James Tennyson stunned in a round by little known Jovanni Straffon just two weeks ago.
“That’s the most important [thing not to overlook Jur],” McCarthy added.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to really stay on top of the last couple of weeks in camp, because the guys who have come over the last lot of Matchroom shows, so many of them have caused upsets.
“I believe people [have] been looking past them and thinking about what’s on the other end.
“There’s so much talk of me getting a world title shot, I’m trying to put anything past Saturday night to the back of my mind, because if things didn’t go my way on Saturday, then all that is null and void.
“So I just have to stay concentrated and make sure I’m on form.”
Jur, a former EBU European Union champion comes into the contest having won just one of his last three fights, but does have 19 victories on his record and McCarthy believes that with this potentially being his last shot at a major title at 36-years-old it adds to the danger of a possible slip-up.
“It’s his last roll of the dice, so he’s going to make it a big one.
“It adds to the danger, because he can change his career around here in one fight and I’ve been in his position before, so I know what the mindset is like when you’re going into a career changing fight.”
Watch the full interview with McCarthy below where he also discusses a mooted clash with Chris Billam-Smith and more: