Deco Geraghty claims underdog tag ahead of crucial crossroads McCullough fight


Declan Geraghty [19(4)-3(2)] doesn’t just believe he is the underdog going into his fourth All-Irish fight, he wants to be deemed the B-side.

‘Pretty Boy’ takes on Marco McCullough for the vacant IBF European minor rankings title at the Ulster Hall on Friday May 17th and is adamant he goes into the bout as a dark horse.

There is certainly logic to making the Dubliner second favourite in the two-horse race. The slick southpaw has lost all three of his domestic clashes – twice to Jono Carroll and once to James Tennyson – while his Belfast opponent is enjoying a run of solid form and comes into the fight off the back of a career-best win over Ruddy Encarnacion.

However, for a fighter who often trades off supreme confidence, it’s strange to hear he wants his foe to be favoured going into what is effectively a crossroads fight for both.

“I expect to be B-side in this fight, I am the underdog,” Geraghty insisted to Irish-Boxing.com.

“Marco is in probably the best form of his career too and I hear he is training hard. So I am expecting the best ever Marco and when you add all that up you have to say he is the favourite and I am the underdog.”

“I am not just saying that to try and put pressure on him or anything like that. I honestly believe I will be seen as the underdog.”

This is all fine by Geraghty who was en-route to some sparring with Victor Rabei while this interview took place.

Indeed, the inner-city fighter welcomes this, outlining how “I hope I am seen as the underdog. I want to be underdog. I hope the bookies have me underdog.”

“Marco has hit form so I get the best him, he will have a big, big crowd there in Belfast and, on paper, he has better record than me. You’d have to make the favourite he deserves the tag.”

Again it’s not quite normal Geraghty talk. Whilst the super featherweight never comes across as annoyingly arrogant he has never been short of confidence and some may suggest it would hurt him to have his credentials questioned.

Yet, while Geraghty wants to be seen as the underdog and believes the pair’s pro history suggests McCullough [21(11)-4(3)] deserves the label, he personally doesn’t see himself losing the fight at the Ulster Hall.

From the outside looking in, it seems the former Crumlin and Docklands star amateur wants to be doubted so he can have that ‘told you so’ moment post victory. The fighter himself hints that the more favoured McCullough is, the more kudos he would get for a win which, if he manages it, could really kick start his career.

“Look at Floyd [Mayweather] in the latter stages of his career, he always talked up his opponents,” noted Geraghty.

“If you talk them up it makes it a bigger winner doesn’t it? Now, when I say Marco should be the favourite I mean it, but it just makes it a better win for me if that is the case,” he adds before suggesting he is confident of victory regardless of what the odds say.

“I won’t lose. I am in really good form and I am in a great place at the minute. Physically and mentally I feel great.  I am sparring bigger guys now with a month to go. I will get in with lighter guys for speed as we get closer.”

“I have been training properly since January and we had the two Hungary fights just to have something to target and so it wasn’t all one big camp. I am feeling good and I am going up there happy out and confident.”

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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 sport for a living for 19 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