Irish Cruiserweight contender Tommy McCarthy can catapult himself back into the 200lbs mix when he faces unbeaten Italian Fabio Turchi in Trento, Italy on Friday night.
McCarthy (15-2 8 KOs) returns to Italy, following a successful second round stoppage victory over Francesco Cataldo in Rome in July, but is seen as the underdog when he steps between the ropes live on Sky in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Tale of the Tape
Florence native Turchi (17-0 13 KOs) has breezed through the professional ranks and will make a first defence of his WBC International Cruiserweight strap on Friday night.
‘Stone Crusher’, who was scheduled to face McCarthy in July but was forced to pull out through injury stopped seasoned Brit Tony Conquest in seven rounds last November faces a resurgent McCarthy on Friday night.
McCarthy, 28, is aiming to re-establish himself amongst a thriving British Cruiserweight scene, following a devastating loss to Richard Riakporhe in March, with potential fights with domestic rivals Chris Billam-Smith, Isaac Chamberlain and Sam Hyde all possible with victory in Italy.
Turchi is the clear favourite heading into the fight, with a formidable knockout percentage and home support on his side. However, McCarthy can draw on his own experience and sparring with the likes of Tony Bellew in years gone by to edge this fight over the distance. Turchi is likely to target an early knockout and will take confidence from Riakporhe’s success, however if McCarthy can survive some potentially hairy moments early on, I believe he will secure a points win.
Also on the bill, former Commonwealth featherweight champion Reece Bellotti (14-2 12 KOs) makes his Italian debut against Francesco Grandelli (12-1-1 2 KOs).
‘Bomber’ returned to winning ways in June, knocking out Josue Bendana at York Hall after falling short in his attempt to claim the British belt from Ryan Walsh last December.
The European middleweight title will be on the line in an intriguing clash between experienced Italian Matteo Signani (28-5-3 10 KOs) and Dutchman Gevorg Khatchikian (29-2 14 KOs).
Signani, 40, will be aiming to become a two-time European middleweight champion against Khatchikian, a former victim of James De Gale.
Completing the bill, exciting super-lightweight prospect Dalton Smith (2-0) faces similarly inexperienced Serbian Francesco Grandelli (0-1).