Marco McCullough‘s big domestic duel with Deco Geraghty could be considered something of a ‘loser leaves town’ affair and the Belfast super featherweight knows he can’t afford to be defeated at the Ulster Hall.
The pair clash at the atmospheric Belfast venue on Friday night in the chief support bout to Ryan Burnett’s return to the ring and it is the definition of the crossroads clash for two fighters that have both suffered notable domestic defeats.
While the two former EU medallists have a number of good names on their record – Willie Casey, Michael Roberts, and Johnny Quigley to list three – their highest profile fights have ended in defeat.
Dubliner Geraghty [19(4)-3(2)] has been stopped by James Tennyson and Jono Carroll, both of whom challenged for the IBF world title recently, while McCullough has been stopped in domestic title tilts versus Isaac Lowe and Ryan Walsh.
Shankill’s McCullough [21(10)-4(3)] turns 30 this year and knows one loss could spell the end for his major title prospects.
However, coming off the back of an enthralling win over perennial continental contender Ruddy Encarnacion, McCullough enters into this week’s fight focused on what a win would do for his career rather than what a defeat would mean.
The #MTKFightNight scrap will play out on ESPN+ in the U.S. and the Ulsterman has American dreams.
McCullough explained how, “at this minute, every fight I’m in is the biggest fight of my career. I need to win to earn the next step towards something bigger. I’ve only a couple of years left so I can’t afford any slip-ups.”
“Fighting live on ESPN+ is just great. Who knows what can come off the back of this fight? It’d be great to fight in America at least once in my career.”
While it’s a domestic dust-up that most find impossible to call – both are near even-money with the bookmakers – McCullough has home advantage over his managerial stablemate.
The former Irish champion plans to make home advantage count and post the latest Belfast win over Dublin.
He said that “Belfast boxing is buzzing and I’m delighted to be a part of it. There seem to be shows on every other week at the moment and for the boxers, that’s great. So many are in camp all at the same time so there’s lots of sparring.
“The Ulster Hall is a special venue and it’ll sound great on the night. I’m expecting an electric atmosphere on the night.”