Marco McCullough to face former EU champion on Belfast BoxNation bill

Marco McCullough [20(11)-4(3)] saw his second big all-Irish fight of 2018 shelved but the Belfast super featherweight remains in a big fight.

The Shankill favourite was set to box Dubliner Deco Geraghty at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Friday October 5th, live on BoxNation, but this bout fell through.

There was talk that McCullough may end up challenging British champion Sam Bowen the following night in Leicester but a replacement opponent for Belfast has instead been found.

McCullough will now face Dominican veteran Ruddy Encarnacion [39(18)-26(5)-4] over ten rounds on the bill.

The 39-year-old Spain-based fighter has been around for donkey’s years and is a former Spanish super featherweight champion, EU featherweight champion, and two-weight European title challenger as well as a contester of numerous rankings belts.

A crafty opponent, and former sparring partner of Carl Frampton, Encarnacion has scored a number of good wins in Spain and brought many top fighters the distance – most recently last year hen he went 12 with then-European champion Guillaum Frenois – the upcoming IBF world title final eliminator opponent for Jono Carroll.

Indeed, despite his unflattering record, Encarnacion looks to be an extremely tough opponent for McCullough who is looking to get back in the title mix.

The minor IBO Inter-Continental belt will be on the line. The organisation’s current ‘world’ champion is unbeaten Tajik Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

It’s encouraging news for McCullough who had seemed set to miss out on another big fight having seen an April clash with Carroll fall through due to a cut suffered by the Dubliner.

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


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: