The Shankill featherweight has been bumped to the top of the Boxnation bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre this weekend due to Jamie Conlan’s change of opponent.
McCullough isn’t free from opponent issues himself however, having initially been due to face unbeaten Scot Michael Roberts Jr, but is now set to face Mexican scrapper Luis Lugo [17(13)-5(3)-3] due to Roberts falling ill.
Describing the switch to Irish-Boxing.com, McCullough explained that “it’s a complete change, the team were kind of worried about taking it because we trained eight weeks for a boxer and now we have a complete brawler so maybe it’s a bit stupid [taking the fight], but they had a look at him and they thought it’s no problem as I’ve done some hard training.”
“It’s the most meaningful fight on the bill so, for me anyway, it’s the main fight on the card.”
The clash, for the WBO Inter-Continental belt, will be the 26 year old’s first major fight under coach Charlie Toland. McCullough rejoined the Ormeau Road trainer this Summer, leaving John Breen following his Commonwealth title knockout loss to Isaac Lowe on the Frampton v Quigg undercard.
Outlining how the change came about, the Ulsterman recalled how “things just haven’t worked out for me, that’s why I changed camp.”
“I thought the camp was going perfect [for the Isaac Lowe fight], but now when I look back, maybe it wasn’t. John Breen is a great guy and a great coach, but his training methods are kind of old-school and it didn’t suit my style of boxing.”
“I needed a change and now I feel like a new man. I don’t think people have seen the best of me. I’m hoping this new coach is going to bring out the best in me.”
McCullough feels reinvigorated under Toland, and believes he will soon hit new heights. The former Irish champion noted how “I was down in the dumps after the Isaac Lowe fight and was just down in my old amateur club hitting bags. He was helping me out and we sort of bonded. He made me find the love for boxing again.”
“He’s into his sport science, and we’re working with Randox Health getting heath checks so I know when my body’s broke down, when I need a break, when I need to train hard. It’s a different level of training to what I’ve been used to.”
“This is why I think you’ll see the best of me over the next few months.”
“It’s just about taking the time to have the bad habits drilled out of me. Over the last three months I’ve gotten rid of ninety percent of them but there are still some things I’m working on.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)