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Debut date confirmed for ‘the new Tony Bellew’

Paul McCullagh will make his eagerly anticipated  debut next month.

The reigning Ulster heavyweight champion, billed as the new Tony Bellew by manager Dave Coldwell, punches for pay for the first time on a #MTKFightNight at Production Park Studios in Wakefield on Ocotber 18.

The big punching Lanzarote based Belfast fighter confirmed he was ditching the vest and turning over as far back as January, but the pandemic has meant a scheduled April debut was cancelled and he has yet to fight in the pro ring.

That changes on a card that includes Michael McKinson, a fighter with Belfast connections who has been recently linked to Paddy Gallagher, as well as the Pete Taylor trained English fighter Jordan Reynolds.

An opponent has yet to be confirmed for the 20-year-old.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com over the summer McCullagh, whose family is steeped in the sport, he assured his debut would be worth the wait and revealed he was up skilling in lockdown, working under former Irish champion Jonathan O’Brien in Spain.

“Dave has being saying it’s a time to work on my craft and to learn and transition from the amateur game into the pro ranks,” he adds.

“We are working on a lot of different things. I am trying not to be a one denominational fighter. I want to be an all rounded boxer and this set back gives us more time prepare and transition into the pro style. You can be sure to see a new and improved Paul Mccullagh when I do get to fight.”

When talking about his decision to turn over McCullagh said:

“The decision now to turn over because no much was happening amateur,” McCullagh told Irish-boxing.com.

“They were putting guys in front of me, bringing them away on trips that I should have been on as Ulster champion. I was in the know and I wasn’t going to be fighting in the shadows of anybody.”

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