Perhaps surprisingly, the man most often called upon for sparring is the 3-0 Irish prospect as top British heavyweights prepare for Oleksandr Usyk.
Thomas Carty has been called into camp with former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who will face Usyk directly. Sky Sports Box Office On August 20, also Derek Chisora.
“I describe myself as the Poundland version of Usyk,” he laughed.
But Carty is a southpaw heavyweight who has wanted to box like Usyk since the beginning of his amateur career.
“I’ve learned how to hit properly and I’ve always had strong fundamentals,” Carty said. Sky Sports.
“I was mobile for a grown man and then as I started to mature I got so much more strength and I’m hitting really hard so it’s a little bit more in the picture now.
“I think I’ve developed a crafty, power-punching style that’s really fun to watch. The southpaw also shines when it comes to throwing shots.”
But he understands what makes Usyk such a formidable fighter.
“What makes him effective and good is how mobile he is. His feet are really good. His fundamentals, I would say, are the best basic boxing skills ever in my opinion,” Carty said.
“Then you have things like being left-handed and things that aren’t normal. If there are a hundred guys in a boxing gym, less than five percent will be left-handed.
“It’s something that I don’t think has been seen much at the heavyweight level,” he added. “Of course you can pick examples, but they are few and far between.
“I remember seeing the opposite [Tony] Bellew and he was throwing jab-left hooks, next week in sparring I’m throwing jab-left hooks and there are guys lying in the ring. It works. Confirmed.
“If I can be even one percent like Usyk, I’ll be good.”
That’s something Carty has wanted to do for a long time, back when Usyk was still an amateur.
“I used to pick guys that I could steal some of their moves or copy some of their moves, and Usyk was the same height,” Carty explained. “Same weight class, left hand, mobile on the feet, good straight punches.
“So I try to copy this guy because he’s doing well for himself. I didn’t know much [back then] Where he ends up, Olympic champion and world champion in the heavyweight division. It’s a little crazy because as an amateur, he was a 91-pound cruiserweight, so I was testing that guy a lot.
He was doing well and had only one accumulated professional fight against then world champion Joshua.
“It’s surreal to say the least. I’ve never seen another Irish heavyweight, Joshua, no one has and they loved what I was doing there for a few weeks and at 1. -0 was great for confidence,” Carty said.
“I was asked to do my thing and they were happy to repeat what I do naturally Usic, there was nothing to force me to do this step or that step. They just wanted me to be myself, to be comfortable and to be competitive. And I can be good and that’s what I did.
“It’s been an amazing experience, and Anthony Joshua, the two-time heavyweight champion of the world, is someone me and my friends always look up to, whenever he’s fighting, so I’m stressing about his confidence. You’re coming in all of a sudden to help him prepare.
It was a learning experience for Kartim. He saw what sets the major heavyweights apart from the rest.
“Of course they have the best facilities for them, but apart from the facilities, there’s no secret, there’s nothing in the gym that you don’t want to do in the gym. The difference is the intensity with which they do everything,” Carty said. “It’s the power, that’s what makes the difference.
“They all train at a high level of intensity. What surprised me with Joshua is how much training he does, how hard he trains. Like, there’s no secret to what he’s doing. He’s just been doing a lot of training. Joshua really lives.
He added, “The difference between where I am and where I am is not that much of a gap, but it is very difficult to bridge the gap.”
“So it can be done, but you need to constantly avoid that and it will happen.”
Carty next boxes on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s fight with Miguel Marriaga at the SSE Arena in Belfast today (August 6). He then wants to fight for the Irish heavyweight title as soon as possible.
“I definitely want to win that because when I win, I’ll be the first guy after Tyson Fury. He’s the last name on the belt. I’m going to fight for the next one, but I need an opponent. I want someone. Fight me. I’ve got to build a big name to be able to offer these guys a lot of money and that’s how I see it happening. It’s just,” he said.
Because they definitely don’t fight me for fun.
Anthony Joshua’s massive heavyweight rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday 20th August. Catch Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!