WHILE Carl Frampton has the chance to dethrone World champion Kiko Martinez on September 6, Marco McCullough has been afforded the chance to get a win over a former World strap holder.
The Belfast featherweight faces experienced former IBF flyweight champion Dmitry Kirillov (31-4-1) in what promises to prove his toughest test to date.
The WBO European and Irish champion passed a stiff acid test last time out after a highly entertaining all action clash with the very aviodable Martin Parlagi. The Cyclone Promotions puncher had to get up of the floor for the first time in his career and was forced to deal with a cut worthy of seven stitches on the bridge of his nose before gaining an impressive fight win.
So intense was the fight and such was the cut that some suggested the Irish Prospect of the Year winner would be granted a more routine bout on the massive Titanic Showdown card, but it seems Cyclone Promotions are looking to progress the John Breen trained puncher further.
McCullough, who has a top 15 World ranking after just 11 fights, trades leather with a Russian who is a veteran of no fewer than 10 title fights and as well as collecting the IBF strap challenged for the WBC and European titles.
Considering Kirillov has campaigned mostly at flyweight McCullough, who is big at featherweight, will be seen as a slight favourite ahead of the clash. However, the same argument was made ahead of the Parlagi bout and what ‘The Baby’ might give away in size he makes up for in experience.