The long-limbed Gary Cully believes he is now well placed to fill the Bernard Dunne sized hole left in the heart of Dublin boxing for over a decade.
‘The Diva’ is eyeing up big 3Arena fight nights, the venue he used to populate as a fan when it was called The Point and was home to amazing Dunne topped cards, now that he has teamed up with Matchroom.
The fact ‘The Bernard Dunne Days’ are discussed in rueful rather than celebratory terms among fight fans proves just how far boxing – outside of a thriving Belfast – has been distanced from the big time since the Dubs’s retirement.
The fight game and the mainstream are no longer bed fellows and besides some star names who fight in Belfast or abroad. neither the casual fan nor ‘big media’ have been fluttering eyelids the way of our fighters.
Gone are sold-out arenas, back page headlines and massive TV ratings, but that is something Cully wants to change. The Son of Sarto wants to become Dublin’s Number One Son.
“I have big dreams of brining big-time boxing home one day. I remember going to The O2 arena back in the day to see Bernard Dunne win his World Title when I was just a kid starting out in boxing. Ever since then I’ve dreamed of bringing boxing back home and having big fights back in Dublin one day,” he says before suggesting with Matchroom and Eddie Hearn’s backing the power to bring nights to the capital is now in his gloved hands.
“The ball is in my court now,” he adds.
“I just need to keep putting those performances in that I have been in the last two years.”
It will take a big fight to tempt Matchroom to return to Dublin for the first time since they promoted ‘The Return of the Mack‘ card in 2014 but Cully is confident he is ready for the kind of big-name fight that would be required.
“I think the performance that I put in against Miguel Vazquez in March proved the level that I’m capable of operating at. He’s a former World Champion that has fought the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Timothy Bradley. He came over to the UK in the past and gave some big names a few problems there as well. The skills I showed and the way I got him out of there, in the end, proved that I can operate at the highest level.”