Gary Cully to fight for a belt next month – but Irish title dream is done

It won’t be against Irish opposition, but Gary Cully [8(4)-0] will challenge for a title in Belfast next month.

Having won every round of his eight bouts to date, the Kildare lightweight believes he deserves title reward next and isn’t going to wait around for what he believes are unwilling Irish opponents.

So the Pete Taylor-trained fighter will fight Welsh opposition, believed but not confirmed to be Cardiff’s Lance Cooksey [8(1)-0], on a yet-to-be-confirmed Belfast card.

“I am fighting for the the Celtic title on May 17th I believe. The hand will have to be looked at first I suppose but that is the plan. I got the opponent’s name, I am not hiding it from you, I just can’t remember who it is,” he told not long after he dominated Brayan Mairena at the Ulster Hall on Friday.

The giant-for-the-weight stylist has been sanctioned for the BUI Celtic eight-round title for some time now and is delighted to have secured a shot at the domestic strap – but remains disappointed he can’t get to experience the all-Irish clash, and does believe his Irish title hopes are gone.

“I am just going to forget the Irish title now,” Cully laments.

“If someone wanted to fight they would be onto my team. It’s well know I want to fight for it, I have told everyone and put it out there. It kinda pissed me off [Feargal] McCrory and [Karl] Kelly fought for it. McCrory is a super feather and Kelly is ranked well down the rankings but, look, it shows you. Who am I going to get to fight for it? I don’t know?”

“I’ll fight for the Celtic title now and get my belt fight. I have eight fights now and I have yet to lose a round. I think I need a belt now to polish this start off.”

While Cully was looking for an Irish title shot and feels he is Ireland’s premier lightweight he does admit it may have been some form of blessing in disguise he didn’t secure a shot as of yet.

The Sarto southpaw felt rounds ready, but learnt on Friday the difference the added stanzas make to potential performance levels and he is now glad he has gone six before he moves to eight in May.

“I was calling for title shots, but that fight showed I actually needed the six before going to eight because I did get tired in the last two, so I am delighted,” he added. 

“I felt good in there. I enjoyed getting the six rounds. I got tired a bit after the fourth and I had to take it back to boxing a bit and work it off the jab and I then started to land cleaner shots. So slowing things down worked. I got over excited after catching him in the second and went for it a bit, but I think that is the best performance I have had and I really enjoyed every minute in there.”

The Nass fighter twice dropped Brayan Mairena during the clash but somehow managed to do so without adding any extra weight to his shots. 

He explains it was accuracy and timing that forced his foe to twice touch down and he admits he finds that kind of knockdown more enjoyable.

“I was only saying it during the week I can be very accurate and I think that is what happened there. It’s just pin-point. They were not massive shots but they are on the button. It does feel good because it’s not a big swing or lucky shot. It’s not power really just skill and I think it’s more of a compliment to be called skillful than just strong.”

Whilst he was all smiles leaving the ring, the fighter did have a bit of a scare post the fight.

Within seconds of telling the doctor he was all okay he was asked to sign a release form and, when he took off his glove, he found it full with blood.

With time to reflect he realized he hurt it in the second round and, with time to size up the damage, he doesn’t feel it will have him out for long.

“Everything was going smoothly. In the fourth round I thought the glove was very wet. I thought it was water or something. Then the doctor came over to get me to sign a sheet of paper, I took the glove off and the glove was full of blood. I went into a kinda state of shock. I can feel my fingers and move them so I don’t think it’s anything too bad. Hopefully just a couple of stitches.”

Kildare boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire

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


logo may

Jonny Stapleton 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: