Marco McCullough back on track with impressive win at the Waterfront

Belfast featherweight Marco McCullough put it ‘All on the Line’ tonight at the Waterfront Hall and emerged with a credible victory over Spain’s Sergio Prado. Fighting for the second time since his shock summer defeat to Zoltan Kovacs, McCullough is now firmly back on track after a hard-fought, impressive, win over the late replacement for Scotland’s John Slowey

The fight was chief support to the BBBoC Celtic title clash between middleweights Alfredo Meli and Conrad Cummings and it was a tough start for the 25 year old who was hurt by a huge hook from Prado. McCullough survived well and sought to use his jab, although the Madrid man continually threatened with big shots.

McCullough had trouble landing on the slippery Spaniard in the second, and it was Prado who scored the crisper shots.

The Shankill fighter finally had some joy in the third, pinning the dipping and ducking Prado to the ropes and throwing a huge number of punches to take the round.

In the fourth round, Prado came out on top in the opening exchanges, keeping his range well, however an eye-catching flurry in the final ten seconds perhaps shaded the round for McCullough.

The Belfast man was well on top in the fifth stanza, outworking and outlanding the former EU champion and demonstrating some great body work.

McCullough stayed on top in the sixth against the switch-hitting Spaniard, and scored some eye-catching counters on top of his busy body barrages.

Impressive again in the seventh round, McCullough landed one big right counter in particular that would have put a lesser boxer down.

McCullough was dominant again with the jab in the eight round, although he did ship one big warning shot from the increasingly inactive Madrid man.

Round nine was a quiet three minutes, with the Irishman controlling the fight with his jab.

The final round saw the pair meet head on, on Prado’s knees buckled under some heavy early pressure from McCullough who proceeded to batter his Iberian foe around the ring for the remainder of the round and confirm the win.

The referee’s final scorecard read, slightly widely, 100-90 in favour of McCullough.

With the tough win, McCullough moves to 14(9)-2(1). 32 year old Prado drops to 11(4)-6(1)-1.

McCullough will now have his sights on a slot on the massive Frampton-Quigg undercard at the Manchester Arena on February 27th

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