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Family affair – ‘Irish Drago’ Paul McCullagh returns home to train in family gym

Paul McCullagh [1(1)-0] has decided it’s best to keep in a boxing steeped family.

The novice light heavyweight made his debut with former Irish middleweight champion Jonathan O’Brien in his corner.

The recent Ulster heavyweight champion trained out of a Lanzarote base for that stoppage win over Ben Thomas and had been living in Spain since turning over.

The ‘Irish Drago’ is now back home in more ways that one having moved back to Belfast and relocated to the McCullagh Gym, where he once trained under his late grandfather as an amateur.

The 21-year-old Dave Coldwell managed big man will now be trained by uncle Sean McCullagh and his father Paul.

The fighter, whose father is a BBBofC referee, explained the decision to return to Belfast was hard and financially motivated, the decision to work with his uncle and Dad was an easier one.

“It was very difficult financially I couldn’t afford it. I was unhappy for many months and stressed. I tried to hang in there as long as possible but I couldn’t do in no more,” the fighter told Irish-boxing.com.

Speaking with regard to his new pro training set up the prospect revealed he is content to tap into solid family knowledge.

“My family have learnt from the best all there days, learning from my grandfather Paul Mccullagh Snr. He’s taught my father and my uncle Sean everything he knows over the many years they spent with eachother. I have the most confidence in my family and there way of training.”

McCullagh, who hopes to be out in January or February of next year, misses the sun, but is happy to be back in familiar surrounds of Belfast and feels he has benefited from time living away.

“I’m happy with the change just adjusting to the cold weather it’s good to see familiar faces and my family. I’m very happy to be back in Belfast with a better head on my shoulders and much more mature.”

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