Marco McCullough warms up for British title shot with dominant win

Looking better than he has for a long time, Marco McCullough warmed-up for his impending British title fight with a one-sided win in Belfast this evening,

The Shankill featherweight takes on Ryan Walsh in just over two months time in London, and got ready for the bout tonight at the Waterfront Hall on the ‘Belfast Boys Are Back’ card.

Taking on durable Nicaraguan Leonel Hernandez, McCullough dominated from bell to bell, dropping his opponent and taking a wide points win.

The Ulsterman had Hernandez on the deck early, sending him toppling down with a short right counter. McCullough would continue to land hurtful looking shots in the opener, but his opponent saw out the round.

A quieter second saw McCullough control the stanza off the jab.

McCullough landed some nice flurries at the start of a busier round three, before sinking home a big bodyshot that shook Hernandez.

The Spanish-based journeyman was looking increasingly ragged by the fourth, and a stoppage seemed likely, with McCullough’s bodywork continuing to impress.

McCullough hurt Hernandez again in the fifth, numerous times, but the experienced fighter hung in, even clipping McCullough with a shot of his own toward the end of the round.

A big uppercut from the home fighter was perhaps the highlight from a slightly more even seventh.

Hernandez again looked ready to go in the seventh, but McCullough did not go hunting for a stoppage, before a low blow brought about a pause to allow the Nicaraguan to recover from a low blow.

Somehow, the bout found itself in the eight round and Hernandez to his credit withstood a late charge to see out the fight.

Going to the scorecards without any doubt whatsoever, the Belfast man was awarded an 80:71 win.

The warm-up win sees McCullough improve his record to 17(10)-3(2), while Hernandez falls to 10(1)-20(7)-2 following his hugely game showing.

All eyes are now on Saturday May 20th and the Copper Box for the big fight with Walsh, where McCullough will look to stop the Norfolk boxer from claiming the Lonsdale belt outright.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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