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Cully and Rabei agree to fight – but teams push them in separate directions

The rivalry has been set aside.

Gary Cully and Victor Rabei have decided to go their separate ways, or put more bluntly, their respective teams believe a fight between the pair isn’t the ideal next move.

The pair have been linked for some time now and talk regarding a meeting increased once Kildare’s Cully claimed the Irish lightweight title.

Rabei became a name the Pete Taylor-trained fighter dropped quite often as he looked to add another domestic scalp to that of Joe Fitzpatrick’s.

The Naas fighter also claimed the Moldovan Dub had turned down an offer.

Rabei didn’t admit as much but, having just signed for American promoters Star Boxing, did say his short term future was outside of Ireland.

However, after Covid denied him two breakthrough fights across the Atlantic, the former BUI Celtic Champion saw the ‘The Diva’ as an ideal makeable big fight.

Irish-boxing.com has been lead to believe, by people from both sides, that talks with regard to a late 2020 meeting were held over a month ago.

Both fighters agreed to trade leather and were keen to get it on, but it seems their representatives have agreed to look elsewhere for each’s next challenge.

Considering how keen Cully was and previous offers were made, the fact it’s not going to happen next suggests the rising prospect has something big lined up.

In terms of name recognition, you can’t improve too much on a domestic rival, so it’s quite possible ‘The Irish Tommy Hearns’ has a ranking title fight in the works.

It wouldn’t be too far fetched to suggest, if that is the case, that it could play out on either of the proposed but yet to be officially confirmed Carl Frampton December 19 card or Tyson Fury and Michael Conlan’s December 5 fight night.

Rabei is still awaiting the American green light, but is looking for big fights before a path to New York is restored.

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