BOXING: Heavyweights headline big night in Castlebar

by Jonny Stapleton
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Thomas Carty has what it takes to become heavyweight champion of the world declares Dillian Whyte.  

The Dublin heavyweight and his manager shared the same Once Upon of Time in the West card in Mayo last weekend – and Whyte wasn’t shy about sharing his aspirations for ‘The Bomber’ after he stopped Christian Hammer in his first fight since 2022.

The former world title challenger, who spent fight week in Dublin and in and around the BUI Celtic champion, believes the only active Irish heavyweight has star potential and could become the first Dubliner since Dan Donnelly in the early 1800’s to call himself heavyweight champion of the world.

“He can be a massive star,” a buoyant Whyte said. “He’s a big man with a big left hand as you saw tonight, plus he is a good-looking guy.

“I think he can definitely win a world title,” he adds.

“He’s the first heavyweight to come out of Ireland since Niall Kennedy. So we’ll get the people behind him and build him. We will look to get him good fights, he has been fighting on Katie Taylor’s undercard and stuff like that.”

17 March 2024; Thomas Carty celebrates after beating Pavel Sour in their heavy weight bout at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

While Whyte argues Carty, who stopped the well travelled Pavel Sour with two different but equally impressive body shots on Platforms Sports promotional Irish debut, has all the attributes to succeed, he remains adamant it takes more than ability and likeability to make it big in the land of the giants.

Having navigated his way to the world level despite starting late, having no amateur pedigree and suffering all manner of setbacks, Whyte more than most knows the difficult climb to the top of the heavyweight mountain.

The active pro, who signed Carty to his stable of fighters, points out the biggest division in boxing isn’t all about brute force, highlighting the need for brains and career savvy to succeed.  

Speaking with his manager’s hat on, the fighter who lived up to his ‘Bodysnatcher’ ring moniker against Hammer, added: “He needs to be managed the right way and guided the right way, taking the right fights.  

“Heavyweight boxing is about being strategic, talent is a big part, but the right fights at the right time, doing the right things, and having your fighter in the right place mentally is very important.”

Sunday was seen in some quarters as a chance for the 28-year-old to get a win away from the massive spotlight of a Matchroom card.

However, the Mayo bout was anything but an out-of-sight record and experience-building clash. The Dub took 200 with him from the capital and had the full attention of the locals i.

That kind of interest and the fact he has already secured tv and title wins, suggests he has the credentials to move fast, but Whyte is preaching patience. The 35-year-old, who will no doubt be invited straight into the big-money Saudi heavyweight party after Saturday, says, that in a realm where one punch can make or break a career there always has to be an element of caution early on.

“We are building him slowly,” he adds.   “Thomas is still a young man. He’s getting better and getting more and more confident but with the heavyweights you have to take your time and be careful.

“Heavyweight boxing is something you can’t get wrong. One bad defeat can stop someone from being a world champion, one defeat can build him too, but we have to take our time.”

Thomas Carty celebrates after beating Pavel Sour in their heavyweight bout at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar on St Patrick’s Day. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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