Straight-talking Gary Cully plays down ‘major’ step-up

Gary Cully [6(3)-0] takes a step-up next month but the Kildare lightweight has the big picture in mind and doesn’t want to over-play things.

It has been announced that the Naas puncher will fight in his first eight rounder on Friday December 7th at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast and will face Tanzanian Mohammed Kambululata.

Boasting a record of 18(7)-5(5) it could be packaged as a shocking step up or a big risk but Cully, widely regarded as one of Ireland’s top prospects, is keeping things in perspective.

Kambuluta has fought outside of his native country five times and has been stopped five times – in six by recent Carl Frampton foe Luke Jackson, in two by Filipino contender Albert Pagara, in one by Russian talent Georgi Chelokhsaev, in five by Namibian world title hopeful Sakaria Lukas, and most recently against Martin J Ward in London where he was beaten in two rounds last month.

All good names, albeit lighter than Cully, and the Sarto southpaw is planning on becoming the latest man to stop Kambululata – viewing the awkward African as more of a yardstick than a ‘major’ fight.

The level-headed 22-year-old reasoned how “Kambuluta is a good step up for me on paper but every time he’s been out of Africa, he’s been beaten and he was beaten by Martin J Ward.”

“It’s a good name to take. He’s a solid winning record and he’s been with the likes of Ward and world title challenger Luke Jackson.”

“I’m looking forward to the challenge and I hope to get him out of there in the middle rounds.”

Not overly interested in the records of opponents, Cully points to his most recent fight against Jordan Ellison last month.

Here he stopped the Sunderland ‘journeyman’ in the third round and was subsequently christened by Ellison as the best fighter he had ever faced.

“I got him out in the third round and that was a real statement,” notes Cully.

“If Ellison is a journeyman, he’s the best one you get before you step up. Not many people do what I did to him.

Following five four rounders, Ellison was Cully’s first six rounder and Kambuluta represents his first eight.

The European Youth gold medallist wants to keep up this rapid progression and aims to be world ranked very soon, with a path already plotted.

Cully outlined how “I want to get a good win under my belt in December against a good opponent and then be eligible to fight for titles in the new year. By the time I hit 10-0, I’m hoping to have a European title.”

“I want Robbie Barrett or Craig Evans. Evans has just become WBO European and Barrett already has the IBF European so either of those can get me a world ranking, and that’s what I want next year.”

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, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: