Tommy McCarthy made a comfortable first defense of his European cruiserweight title as he knocked out Alexandru Jur, of Romania, with a body shot in the sixth round at Manchester. 

McCarthy dropped Jur twice from body shots. The Belfast man, who is ranked in the top ten by the WBC, WBA and IBF, is now being lined up for a defence against Chris Billam-Smith as part of Matchroom’s Fight Camp series in July. Eddie Hearn believes the winner of that could be in line for a world title fight. 

Jur was negative from the start, backing away, pawing out a jab that he never seemed to throw. 

For a couple of rounds McCarthy was just content to pick up points, but in the third began to get more aggressive and start putting pressure on the Romanian. 

Late in round four, a left hook to the body dropped Jur to his knees, where he seemed likely to stay before springing to his feet at the count of eight. It did spark a brief fightback, as McCarthy looked for a finisher and Jur met him head on. 

McCarthy, 30, stuck on him, though, keeping him on the end of the jab in the fifth round and then putting together some combinations. 

Early in the sixth round, Jur caught McCarthy with a short right hook. It served just to wake McCarthy up as he started putting more power into his shots. Jur was suddenly looking for somewhere to hide. After landing a clubbing shot to the side of the head, Jur complained about a punch at the back of the head. McCarthy apologised and then landed a left to the body that dropped the fast fleeing Jur back to his knees. 

This time he did not get up as he was counted out by referee Ian John Lewis at 2:09 of the sixth round. 

The prospect of facing Billam-Smith did not seem to bother McCarthy. 

“It will be the same kind of fight,” McCarthy said. “Billam-Smith will come to survive too.”