Gary Cully calls for step-up following Belfast pit-stop


Gary Cully moved to 5-0 at the weekend but the milestone wasn’t marked the way he wanted it to be.

The Naas lightweight was due to box Hungarian test Zoltan Szabo in a major step-up on the Mick Conlan Homecoming undercard but a late withdrawal saw him instead face Nicaraguan spoiler Reynaldo Cajina.

Cajina is a perfectly fine fifth fight for a 22-year-old prospect – but Cully feels himself different to most and wants to start moving quickly towards big fights.

Following the comfortable points win in Belfast, the Kildare puncher outlined his plan – and is aiming for titles in the near-immediate future.

Speaking to IFL TV, Cully mapped out how “we move on to six rounds now, we’re going to have two six rounds and then and eight rounder and then, hopefully, start calling for titles.”

“My skill level is up there, I just need the experience and rounds. I’ve been a professional a year now and obviously I didn’t want to disrespect people, coming on to the scene as a novice pro, calling all these names. But, look, I’m pro a year, I’m 5-0, I think I’ve established myself.”

“I took on Kane Baker who was 4-1 when I fought him, just been beaten by Conor Benn and still has a winning record and usual fights at super lightweight. I’ve took on good guys and I’m only 22, I feel I’ve established myself as one of the guys to be beaten here.”

Once the Sarto southpaw gets on the title train, he doesn’t want to get off.

“I feel like I’m up there, I just want to get these big fights made,” said the fighter who has been frustrated recenly by his fellow Irish lightweights and their lack of mentioning him when it comes to titles.

“I want an Irish title, I want a BUI Celtic title, whoever’s lightweight around. I’m still only 22, I could fight for a ‘Youth’ title, I just want a title by the end of the year, I put in hard camps, I live a good lifestyle, it’s paying off, I’m 5-0, any Irish lightweights.

“I want to be fighting for a world title in two to three years, win my first title at lightweight, and then we can start moving up the weight divisions.”

In terms of his fight on Saturday, which played out on the early off-TV undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena, Cully wasn’t getting overexcited.

Indeed, the lilywhite is already back in the gym preparing for his next fight date – which could be alongside stablemate Luke Keeler at Windsor Park on August 18th or with his other gym-mate Davey Oliver Joyce at the Glasgow Emirates Arena on August 24th.

Reflecting, Cully admitted that “I was a bit frustrated when I got out of the ring because I had a good opponent lined up this week and he pulled out last minute, Zoltan Szabo. He’s beaten the Irish number one [Stephen Ormond] so I wanted to beat him, take a big scalp, and move on to bigger fights.”

On Cajina, he described him as being “a good durable journeyman and he took me the four rounds but it was just frustrating because he was negative from the first bell. The first jab I hit him, he stepped backwards, crouched down very small, and I couldn’t get shots off.”

“He’s out of a job, if he gets stopped, for a month. He took me the distance, he did his job. It’s valuable experience for me. If I had have got him over six rounds I think I could have taken him out over the longer distance.”

“I watched the video back, I looked good, everything we worked on in the gym was good. Camp was not ideal, we had a couple of problems through camp but we got through it as a team and here we are 5-0.”

“It’s on to bigger and better things.”

Watch IFL TV’s interview with Gary Cully in full below:

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Kildare Boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie