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Gary Cully expecting wounded Kazakh animal

Gary Cully [11(5)-0] is aware he will have to tame a wounded animal if he is to win his ‘biggest fight yet’.

The Kildare fighter will fight Viktor Kotochigov [12(5)-1(0)0]for the vacant WBO European lightweight ranking title on a February 19 MTK Fight Night, that also plays host to Paul Hyland Jr’s British title tilt. 

The previously much fancied Kazakh comes into the clash on the back of a first career defeat. 

The 27-year-old was shocked by recent Jono Carroll defeater Maxi Hughes in Dubai last October. 

The Pete Taylor trained southpaw feels the surprise defeat will only serve as massive motivation for an already talented lightweight – and as a result is aware he will have to be on the ‘top of his game’.  

“I watched Kotochigov against Maxi Hughes and he’s technically very good. He’s more experienced than me, and he’s coming off a loss so he will be looking to redeem himself. It’s a dangerous opponent that is coming to win and I’ll have to be on the top of my game to beat him.”

Cully moved from a prospect of real note among those in the boxing know to a fighter rated by a wider audience by virtue of a first round stoppage victory over Joe Fitzpatrick, as he claimed a sensational win in an Irish title that was meant to be the most competitive in very recent history.

The WBO European ranking title fight may not generate the same excitement, but it will seriously boost the Nass fighters standing. 

With that in mind the 24-year-old believes this is the biggest clash of his career so far. 

“I’m really excited to be kicking off 2021 with my biggest fight yet. At the start of 2020 I had my first title now, and now at the start of 2021 I’ll be fighting for my second title, so thanks to MTK Global for getting it done.

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