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Introducing: Gary Cully

There was big move earlier in the week as amateur standout Gary Cully confirmed that he is to ditch the vest and join the professional ranks.

The rangey Kildare southpaw has linked up with MTK Global on a management deal and wants to get moving quickly.

A switch which came somewhat out of the blue as many had viewed 21 year old Cully, whom Zaur Antia describes as ‘the perfect amateur boxer, as a Tokyo Olympic hopeful 2020.

Indeed, Cully turning pro has been likened to the defections of Jason Quigley, Tommy McCarthy, and Ryan Burnett – an Irish boxer with Olympic potential who has chosen to get cracking in the paid ranks early.

It was an easy choice though for the Naas stylist who told Irish-Boxing.com “it wasn’t really a tough decision to turn over as professional was always something I wanted to do from when I started boxing 14 years ago, that was always my dream.”

“As I progressed in the amateurs and got better and better then obviously going to the Olympics became a possible reality too but, as far as I see it, that would have just been a bonus for me, my eyes have always been about winning a world title as a pro and being involved in huge fights.”

“Obviously the way it panned out, with David Oliver [Joyce] turning over after Rio and lightweight being there for the taking, a lot of people thought I would have stuck around amateur for the Olympics – but, like I said, my eyes were always on turning over.”

The long lilywhite also had understandable fears about the nature of amateur boxing that have seen him make the move early.

Cully explained that “what made me feel like now is the right time to turn over was that I was thinking ‘what if I wait around until 2020 and dream of winning an Olympic gold medal and I get robbed in a qualifier and don’t get to go?'”

“Where could I be in 3 years time in the pro game rather than wait around and have the possibility of being hard done by?”

“There was no guarantee I would go to the Olympics with the way the amateur game is gone with corruption etc.”

A glittering amateur career saw Cully claim six underage titles and European Youth gold, as well as gold and the best overall boxer award at the 2016 Haringey Box Cup. He believes it “is the perfect time for me because I’m still young but I have a lot of experience also.”

“Time is on my hands I have time to learn the ins and outs of the professional game, but I can also be moved along quite quickly because I have the experience and amateur pedigree to be moved along quickly. I don’t need to be fighting four-round fights for one and two years. I only need a couple of them to learn.”

Fans who have yet to see the spindly southpaw fight are in for a treat, and Cully notes how “I’ve been described as a white Tommy Hearns by a lot of people and I’d agree with that.”

“I’m a six-foot two southpaw and I’m only a lightweight, so I’m huge for the weight.”

“I’d like to think I’m nice to watch. I bring a very confident and classy style, hands down, nice movement.”

“Also I’ve got a couple of knockouts in my last few fights in the amateurs so I think I lot of people will be surprised with my power.”

“One thing I can guarantee anybody who’s never seen me fight is that they’ll be entertained!”

Cully isn’t planning to overhaul his fairly unique style, and feels it is suited to the pro ranks.

The former St David’s star outlined how “I don’t think I’ll have to adjust much to the pro game. I actually think it’ll suit me more.”

“I used to be pretty busy in the amateurs and get out of the ring and I’d have not broke a sweat. I was fighting three rounds and I was fit enough for 12!”

“Obviously I’ll have a few things to learn and get used to when fighting as a pro – but as far as style, I think it will suit my style much more.”

“In the amateurs, after I hit guys, they would feel my power and start to be very negative – but in the pros I’ll have more time to break them down and get them out of there.”

A debut date will be confirmed for Cully soon, perhaps on the next BoxNation show in Belfast or on the Ginley Promo card on September 16th. Whenever it is, it will be the first step to stardom according to the naturally confident youngster.

Cully stated that “my main plan is to become a World Champion, obviously speaking long term.”

“I’m not turning over to just get by or to just make a living. I want to be involved in mega fights and break records, I want to be one of the best Irish fighters ever and put my name down in history. That is my long term plan.”

“As far as short term, I just want to get down to business and learn as much as I can over the next year or so. I want to gain as much experience as I can and be kept busy and build up my record, keep winning fights, knocking people out, and hopefully then the opportunities for titles will come.”

Kildare Boxing is proudly sponsored by Liffey Crane Hire

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie