Cool Callum Bradley calls for gradual progression


Debuts can be nervy affairs but Callum Bradley was determined to enjoy every second of his.

The Omagh featherweight became one of the youngest current Irish pros on Friday night when he made his bow at the Ulster Hall in Belfast and, despite the stage and a long lay-off, looked completely at ease.

The baby-faced 20-year-old outpointed Jose Aguilar in what ended up being the chief support bout for the Luke Keeler v Conrad Cummings rematch.

Bringing a large crowd – not to mention there being many other Tyrone punters in the crowd for Cummings and Taylor McGoldrick – Bradley entered to a raucous atmosphere and soaked it all up.

“It was brilliant, I was just taking it all in,” he beamed afterwards.

“It was class. All my fans down from Omagh, I really appreciated them all coming. All my friends were all drunk and noisy! All my sponsors, thanks to all my sponsors for coming down too, for giving me loads of money and helping me through camp.”

Once he got to the ring, Bradley was faced with the tough Jose Aguilar.

Bradley impressed against the game Nicaraguan, eventually winning 40-37, in an entertaining four-rounder.

“I kept my head cool,” he noted.

“He was really tough and experienced so I just tried to box smart and tried not to get drawn into the fight. I’ve watched a lot of him, he’s very experienced, he’s fought the likes of Charlie Edwards, Sunny Edwards, he has over 60 fights, he’s tough.”

“I thought I performed like expectations, I thought I boxed well. I thought I was really mature and I believe I belong here.”

The maturity was indeed impressive from Bradley who was competing in his first adult bout and first without headgear.

With that in mind, the Sacred Heart Omagh youngster isn’t looking to get on he fast-tract.

Bradley outlined how “I’m only young, I’m only 20 years old and, because I’ve been out of the ring for a year, that was my first fight in a year.”

“I just want to get loads of experience, loads of fights, I’m only young but I want to get to the very top.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie