The former Irish champion and Commonwealth and British title challenger has rebuilt impressively since his 2017 defeat to Ryan Walsh but there is definitely a crossroads element to the super featherweight clash with Geraghty.
While both have a number of notable wins next to their names it is, perhaps unfairly, their losses which are most well-known and, in that sense, it is a ‘must-win’ for both if they are to progress to titles bigger than the IBF European inter-continental rankings belt which will be on the line.
McCullough is planning to leave it all in the ring next month.
The 29-year-old, who is always in entertaining fights, is aware that southpaw stylist Geraghty [18(4)-3(2)] will prove tricky, but is confident he can slow down the dancer and take control of an eagerly anticipated match-up late on.
“Deco’s a boxer so I think he will try box on the back foot and counter punch,” McCullough told Irish-Boxing.com following the fight’s confirmation yesterday evening.
“I think the fight will be tricky and pretty close the first half of the fight. But I think I will edge the second half of the fight. Wouldn’t call myself a puncher but I can hit hard and he will start to feel himself slow down.”
The pair were scheduled to meet last year before Dubliner Geraghty pulled out through injury.
Once recovered and focused back on his boxing the former EU silver medallist was keen for the clash to be re-made, but he told Irish-Boxing.com the Belfast fighter didn’t see the value in the clash.
McCullough explains he felt, at that time, that an EBU European title shot was potentially on the cards and as a result hadn’t eyes for a Belfast v Dublin clash.
“After he pulled out from last fight, I got the fight with Ruddy [Encarnacion] and, during training camp, Ruddy was made mandatory for the EBU European belt. So I felt if I got the win I could push on towards the EBU or be even made mandatory myself. So I just thought it was really a step back to fight Deco at the time.”
The fight has now been confirmed and, much to the Shankill boxer’s delight, it will play out in the Ulster Hall.
McCullough has fought in the famous venue as an amateur and once as a pro – a 48-second blow out of Valentin Marinov – but believes there could be something special about appearing in the historic hall in a high-profile bout.
“It’s great to finally get a decent fight in the Ulster Hall. I fought there in the amateurs in the Ulster final and it was packed and the atmosphere was great. Then again as a pro but early in my career, I was down the card and the fight lasted about 30 seconds so this time we will be topping the bill, the atmosphere will be electric and the support will definitely be heard in there.”
The venue does look ideal in terms of McCullough’s passionate and loud support, but it’s not just on the night were he believes home advantage will count.
“There always that slight advantage with being the home fighter. Getting to do the normal things you do to make weight on fight week, small things like using your own gym and having the team all around you – and sleeping in your own bed,” he adds before suggesting the ESPN+ element to the card could open a pathway to eventually fighting Stateside.
“It’s great for the fight to be on be on ESPN who knows what can come off this. It would be a dream to get out to America for a fight once in my career.”