Marco McCullough [17(10)-3(2)] used to watch Ryan Walsh with admiration from afar, but he now gets to see the British champion up close and personal this coming May – and he is up for the test.
The Belfast featherweight will challenge the Norfolk favourite for the Lonsdale belt in London on May 20th and is expecting to face a tough but beatable opponent.
The 27 year old goes into the clash off the back of a comfortable points win against a durable, squat, and hardened opponent in Leonel Hernandez, and believes his ‘Belfast Boys are Back’ win was the perfect warm up for the biggest fight of his career.
“It was perfect preparation for Ryan Walsh,” said McCullough straight after a fight in which he looked sharper than he has in a long time.
“He is that stature and tough too and I am happy enough. Walsh will be coming to win. He is a great champion to be honest.”
“I think I knew about him well before I turned over. I used to watch his fights. He has always been at the top end of domestic level so its a great fight for me.”
“His record speaks for itself. He has only been beat by Lee Selby and the European champion so I know it will be tough,” he added before stressing he feels like things are falling into place for him.
“I am starting to get back into it. Everyone is happy with the sparring and the way I am training. It really seems to be coming together and hopefully it’s all at the right time.”
McCullough won every round against Friday’s foe and, as he also dropped the Nicaraguan, managed a 80-71 win. He claims the Spanish based hard man was easy enough to hit and thus provided him with good target practice, but did leave the ring with a great deal of respect for victim number 17.
“He was tough as old boots that boy. I knew after the first round I was in for eight rounds. He was absorbing everything. I knew myself after he went the distance with Cacace and Kiko Martínez that might be the case, but he was tough. He was easy to hit, but I didn’t want to jump on him in case I blew up myself.”
“I caught him lovely in the first and he shook it off. The body shots were hurting him, but he was a tough nut.”
Jamie Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill for Episode 3 of The Irish Boxing Show:
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)