‘After that shot, I woke up’ – Paul McCullagh reflects on second pro win

Paul McCullagh [2(1)-0]] admits a big right hand shipped in the first round of his second pro bout ‘woke’ him up and ensured he stopped sleeping on the upset potential of his journeyman opponent.

‘The Irish Drago’ walked onto a big Antony Woolery right hand early in the fight and revealed that proved the moment he elected to stick to the game plan.

The light-heavyweight prospect could be heard confirming he was going to consult his skillset between rounds, speaking after the fight he told Irish-boxing.com that was always the game plan but it took the threat of danger to make sure he followed pre-fight instructions.

It’s not that McCullagh was worried about being stopped rather he has a boxing IQ high enough to know and make sure he doesn’t have to take an unnesscary punishment.

“My chin has been tested before, I know I can take a shot. I have taken big shots before and I’ve pulled through.

“After that shot [on Saturday] I woke up and got behind my jab to make sure I didn’t get caught again, he was a strong lad.”


“I was happy to box and get the rounds in and stay out of trouble because I felt his strength and power. He’s been in with some good and strong opponents. I can box and I can get into a war but I still have lots to improve on and build on my boxing IQ.”

In fairness the former Ulster heavyweight champion was in control and comfortable throughout the fight. Indeed, he did seem to hurt ‘The Bull’ on occassion but rather than push for the stoppage was happy to box his way to victory.

“He was very tough and took some great shots. I had him hurt at some points and could have put the pressure and went for a stoppage but I didn’t want to get reckless. I stuck to our game plan to box and jab, everything behind the jab and sink some body shots in,” he adds before revealing it was the first time in a long time he used his jab to such effect.

“We had worked to a game plan to box and use the jab. It’s the first time I have used it properly in a long time.”

The bout was just the Dave Coldwell managed fighters second in a pro ring and already he can see improvements from his debut over Ben Thomas.

“I noticed a big difference between this fight and my debut, a difference in strength, being more calm, working on straight punches and setting shots up. I had a completely different training set up and I felt much more confident and relaxed,” he continues before revealing his desire to fight at home.

“I would love to fight in Belfast next.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com