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Dream start stream nightmare- McCullagh’s popularity reason behind ESPN+ crash

Paul McCullagh [1(1)-0] has taken the blame for the technical difficulties during the latest #MTKFigthNight.

Not that the Belfast fighter tripped over an an important wire or flicked the wrong switch, rather so many people tuned in to watch him live on ESPN+ and via IFL TV that the stream malfunctioned.

Considering there were no such technical glitches on previous cards, cards that included some massive names and fights, it’s a massive compliment to a prospect making his debut.

The 20-year-old seems to have taken some pride in it, but wants to get out again so people can see what the early fuss is bout.

“I just want another fight, nothing specific, just another night under the lights and on TV so the world and most importantly Belfast can see,” McCullagh told Irish-boxing.com.

“That many tuned in to watch the first fight the link crashed.”

Those that tuned in got to witness two solid McCullagh rounds, but missed the finish as the stream crashed for the conclusive third round.

The ‘Irish Drago’ dropped Ben Thomas twice in the third to claim his first professional win.

Upon reflection the big punching prospect felt it was the ideal debut, he banked some rounds and managed to take some of the spotlight with a stoppage win.

“I think I performed well under the lights and in front of the cameras. It was strange debut but I’m glad to get the first one out of the way.

“To be honest I’m glad I got a few rounds in because I haven’t fought in a year. I was starting to come alive it in third round and it was just a bonus to get the stoppage win.”

Thomas represented a solid debut foe, the English fighter has been stopped in his last three fights, but was a deemed good enough to challenge for the Southern Area title.

The Belfast explains light heavy went into the clash blind in terms of the opponent and he exits the fight paying little heed to the fact he was somewhat tested on his debut.

“It’s simple for me, I box who my team put in my way. For this fight my opponent changed last minute and to be honest I didn’t even know, but I was confident that I was fit and ready to box,” he adds.

McCullagh is currently managed by Dave Coldwell and trained by former Irish champion Jonathan O’Brien.

He points out both were happy with his performance, but are fully aware there is room for improvement.

“They were happy about the performance but they added I have a few things to improve on and I agree with them and I will work on things when I return to the gym.”

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