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Boisterous build up – Gary Cully predicts spicy fight week

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It might upgrade from niggly to spicy this week.

The build up to the first Irish title fight of the decade and possibly the most anticipated green belt clash in the last 10 years hasn’t been overly nasty.

There have been some sly verbal digs between Gary Cully [9(4)-0] and Joe Fitzpatrick [10(7)-0], insults wrapped in compliments and comments disguised as innocent delivered through the kind of wry smiles that suggest they are anything but.

However, it hasn’t been too heated. It hasn’t had to be. The fight sell itself. Although Cully believes that may all change during fight week.

The Kildare fighter seems to have some things he is looking forward to getting off his chest as the Ulster Hall, February 1, MTKFightNight draws closer.

The pair will share a room for the first time at Thursday’s press conference and if the Naas fighter as planned pipes up there is no doubt the Belfast side of the fight will respond.

If sparks do fly and tensions flare the fan appetite for one of the most anticipated domestic derbies in recent times will only increase further.

“I am might be keeping a few things for the press conference. It might get a bit better then. I honestly can’t wait for fight week. You join boxing for fights like this and to enjoy the build up to big fights. It’s not just about the fight, the whole build up plays a part,” Cully recently told Irish-boxing.com.

The keen to move Pete Taylor giant for a lightweight has never been one afraid to court the spotlight – in-fairness nor has BUI Celtic Champion Fitzpatrick- and he certainly seems be relishing the added attention Saturday’s clash has brought.

The Kildare prospect notes the title fight which has roots in some Irish-boxing.com call outs and back and forts is his first ‘big fight’ and is determined to enjoy and learn from the experience in and out of the ring.

“I have enjoyed the build up. There is a real excitement around the fight.

“This is my first big fight I can get excited about. I don’t just want to enjoy it I will use it to build up experience too. Learn to embrace the fight week nerves and a big press conference and weigh in and the occasion.”

While he predicts things may heat this week Cully was sure to state their is no bad blood between the pair. The southpaw claims there is respect and puts any verbal jousts down to the fact both men are keen to prove they are the best at their weight on the Island.

“I am not watching what I say or putting thought into it. Joe knows whats happening, I know whats happening and look we respect each other so is there much point in mind games or that. Everyone knows its going to be a brilliant fight so you don’t have to sell it,” he adds before concluding.

“There is no bad blood there but there is needle. That’s jut the nature of an All Irish clash and especially one people are buying into and picking sides.”


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