Gary Cully’s Kazakh step up moved to Dubai – Diva to challenge for WBO Euro strap

Gary Cully ‘s vacant WBO European lightweight ranking title fight has been moved to Dubai.

The Nass favourite has been handed the chance to secure a world ranking with the WBO and take the scalp of Kazakh Viktor Kotochigov [12(5)-1(0)] on March 12.

Cully [11(5)-0] and Kotochigov were set to meet on the undercard of the British lightweight title fight between Liam Walsh and Belfast’s Paul Hyland Jnr, a fighter Cully has called out, which will be broadcast in the US on ESPN+ in Febraury.

However, it’s moved to a March, Dubai and the Pete Taylor trained fighter will look to register a step up win on the same card as Tyrone McKenna and Lewis Crocker.

Popular prospect Cully was last in action in August, when he defeated Craig Woodruff in his first clash since stopping Joe Fitzpatrick within a round to claim the Irish title.

There were suggestions the Pete Taylor trained southpaw was close to agreeing a fight with Moldovan Dub Victor Rabei, but has moved away from high profile domestic dust up in favour of ladder climbing clashes.

Former WBC International champion Kotochigov comes into the clash on the back of his first career defeat. The 27-year-old will be looking to bounce back following his surprise points defeat to Jono Carroll defeater Maxi Hughes in October.

Speaking when the clash was initially made : “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.

“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.”

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 sport for a living for 19 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