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Be like Mike – Gary Cully is Irish boxing’s Michael Jordan

Gary Cully is the Colosseum Gym’s very own Michael Jordan according to Tommy McCarthy – and not because he is tall.

‘The Mack Attack’ has been watching the acclaimed documentary ‘The Last Dance’ and has recognized Jordan like traits in the Irish lightweight champion.

McCarthy, who also compared Paddy Barnes to the Basketball legend, claims the Kildare native, who has completed over 100 training sessions during lockdown, has as similar intensity to the uniquely driven American.

“In our team at Pete Taylor’s gym there’s a good vibe. We’ve all won titles.

“If there’s someone who has the same intensity as Jordan in our gym it’s Gary Cully – he never drops his level of intensity,” McCarthy told the Belfast Telegraph before continuing play ground style to allocate Bulls players to gym mates.

“I’m the captain of the team though but more like a Scottie Pippen type. Tyrone McKenna is our Dennis Rodman – he’s just totally like Rodman – and of course Pete is our Phil Jackson!”

A host of sporting names have taken inspiration from the Netflix documentary and the European mandatory challenger is no different.

“When you watch that documentary on Jordan you see how he had a different mindset and that set him apart. I loved the fact that he was just a normal guy, he wasn’t a robot – he knew when he had to work but also enjoyed his time away from the court. Personally, I find him a real inspiration and I know I can learn from his approach to get the very best out of myself,” added McCarthy.

The Mark Dunlop managed fighter also stressed Paddy Barnes had Jordan elements.

Ironically in an individual sport Barnes would inspire and drive those around him in his amateur days.

“The way he drove on his team-mates actually reminded me of Paddy Barnes when we were all in the High Performance set-up in Dublin – he used to have a go at me all the time making wee remarks like ‘how can you be tired?’ But it made me want to be better, it worked.”

Jordan isn’t the first American sports star Cully has been compared to. His coach Pete Taylor previously labelled the Naas lightweight the Irish Tommy Hearns.

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 sports for a living for over 20 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