‘I’m the home fighter’ – Gary Cully not worried about Belfast element of Joe Fitzpatrick Irish title fight

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Gary Cully [9(4)-0] has told Joe Fitzpatrick [10(7)-0] he is the home fighter despite the fact the pair meet for the Irish lightweight title in ‘The Dragon’s’ hometown.

After a verbal back and forward in the second half of this year the former amateur standouts will trade blows of a more damaging kind in one of the more exciting domestic dust ups in recent times come February 1.

The fight plays out in the BUI Celtic Champions home city, but ‘The Diva’ isn’t too concerned.

Cully points out that as the MTK fighter fighting on a #MTKFightNight card he is the home fighter, something he believes could play a part in him winning.

“It’s Joe’s hometown but I’m the home fighter so I think that’ll work in my favour. I believe I can use that to my advantage and I just can’t wait to go in there and put on a performance,” said the Kildare native.

Since returning from a sabbatical that lasted over a year, southpaw Fitzpatrick has been keen to let everyone know he is the best at the weight in Ireland.

Cully has claimed the same but in a somewhat more diplomatic fashion.

The tall southpaw admits he faces a fellow quality operator at the Ulster Hall and will have to produce a career best display to win.

However, he feels everything that comes with such a step up and such a high profile fight will only ensure he performs to the peak of his powers.

“I don’t know much about him. He was a bit older than me in the amateurs and I haven’t seen much of him in the pros. It’ll be two quality operators in there and it’ll make a fight people are interested in.

“I’m going to be at the top of my game. I’ll have that bit of nerves that’ll make me perform that bit better because I’m up against someone who is coming to win. It will have to be my best performance to date.”

Both fighters have the chance to become the first Irish champion since former European champion Andy Murray won the belt in 2008.

The prize on offer adds to the excitement for the Naas ticket seller and is the perfect start to the year.

“I’m buzzing that this is now over the line. I’ve been knocking on the door and calling for titles the last two or three fights and being the champion of Ireland is the perfect title to start off with.”

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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: [email protected]