Lock-down up-skill – Paul McCullagh promises much improved fighter after debut delay

Paul McCullagh assures his debut will be well worth the wait.

The big punching 20-year-old was set to be introduced to pro fight fans last weekend as he was scheduled to debut on one of two #MTKFightNight set for Belfast.

However likes tens of fighters scheduled to trade leather on the cards the current pandemic left the Ulster Elite heavyweight championship winner without a fight.

The son of BBBofC referee of the same name admits it left him disappointed, but he is taking a bright side approach.

The Spain based fighter is using the time perfect his skills and to make the transition from amateur to pro as smooth as possible.

As a result he believes a much better fighter will be on display when does eventually punch for pay.

“I was disappointed not to get my pro career of to a start, but I can’t hang my head down because there’s other fighters in the same position as me. I’m not the only one so I have to keep positive. The time will come for the occasion and I am making sure I’m ready,” the Jonathan O’Brien coached and Dave Caldwell managed fighter told Irish-boxing.com.

“Dave has being saying it’s a time to work on my craft and to learn and transition from the amateur game into the pro ranks,” he adds.

“We are working on a lot of different things. I am trying not to be a one denominational fighter. I want to be an all rounded boxer and this set back gives us more time prepare and transition into the pro style. You can be sure to see a new and improved Paul Mccullagh when I do get to fight.”

The Belfast light heavy, who had sells tickets in Dublin and Belfast, is currently in Lanzarote where he is trained by former Irish middleweight champion Jonathan O’Brien at Champions Gym. It doesn’t seem the worst of venues to be lock-downed in, but for McCullagh reveals it is somewhat hard to be a 20-year-old away from him.

“I would love to be with my family at this time. It’s been 5 months away from them but I am truly blessed to feel like this is home. Me and my coach, John get along great and I feel like I’m part of the furniture. We have a great bond as coach and fighter and as friends.

“I’m learning a lot out here and growing up fast. Being away from home having moved country at 20 years of age isn’t easy, so I’m grateful to have such good people in my surroundings,” he adds before finishing on another positive.

“I’m not sure on when my debut will come but I’m keeping my spirits high and enjoying training and being out here the Lanzarote sun doing what I love.”

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