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Class Cully CRUSHES Viorel Simion in three rounds

Gary Cully cruised to an early stoppage win tonight in England.

The Naas lightweight needed just three rounds to get a faded Viorel Simion out in Bolton, looking smooth and stylish in the process.

With spots on the Féile Fight Night in August hard to come by, Cully found himself confirmed for tonight’s bill at the Bolton Whites Hotel at short notice. Imperfect preparations, however, proved no issue for the Sarto southpaw who showed his class and conditioning to ease to a quick finish.

‘The Diva’ was too big, too quick, and too strong and veteran Simion was pulled out after nine minutes of punishment.

Cully’s powered his way into the WBO rankings with an attention-grabbing second-round stoppage of Viktor Kotochigov in March and entered tonight at #12 with the body. The WBO European belt he won that night was not on the line here as the Irishman suffered from some opponent uncertainty, with 39-year-old Simion being the fifth choice to man the opposition corner.

The Romanian has had a long career, reaching the quarters at the 2004 Athens Olympics before turning pro and scoring plenty of competitive wins However, to fans in this part of the world, he is perhaps best known for his gallant performances against Lee Selby and Scott Quigg in 2013 and 2017 respectively.

Since then, Simion was bombed out in one by the sensational Shakur Stevenson before jumping to lightweight where his level has been signalled by a seventh-round retirement loss to Ukrainian contender Denys Berinchyk and an eight-round points loss to Spaniard Samuel Molina – and Cully needed less than half this time.

Cully, a full nine inches taller, started quick and had Simion hurt at the end of the first with a long left hand.

Ripping to the body in the second round, Cully went through the gears. Simion attempted to respond and time the larger man, getting in a few warning shots but it was very much one-way traffic.

While he landed some nice uppercuts in the third round, it was a right hook that staggered Simion. Constant combinations rattled in with little coming back from the Eastern European who was wilting massively but made it through the round.

That was as far as he would go, however, with the Romanian’s corner calling it at the break to hand Cully a technical knockout win.

The win sees the lilywhite’s perfect professional record extend to 13(7)-0 while the outgunned Simion slips further to [22(9)-7(3)]

Having scored this win in comfortable circumstances, Cully’s attentions will now quickly move to a third fight of 2021 this Autumn, with a mooted MTKFightNight in Belfast in September or October maybe fitting the bill.

Earlier in the evening there was a huge upset, with Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh being sensationally stopped by Brett Fidoe in what was his return to the ring after almost 18 months out.

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